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Property division includes deciding what to do about family home

Whether to stay in the marital home or move on is one of the most complicated decisions to make during a Montana divorce. After all, unlike other assets subject to property division during divorce, the home is usually the most valuable asset from both a financial and an emotional standpoint. But letting go of the marital home and buying a new one may be a smart move for a couple of reasons.

Although many spouses who are going through divorce would like to remain in their current homes, other spouses view divorce as a transition period. Therefore, living in a brand-new location or exploring a different living style once the final judgment is entered may seem more appealing. In addition, if the conditions of the real estate market are right, buying a new house offers the chance to start building equity on one's own.

At the same time, buying a home comes with many costs up front. For instance, moving costs might include home renovations, new furniture, a down payment, the cost of a home inspection and closing and settlement costs. These expenses are critical to consider when projecting one's financial situation after the divorce has been finalized.

In addition to deciding what to do with the family home, those going through divorce in Montana may have to make other crucial property division decisions, such as how to split the proceeds of a business. In some cases, they can work out these issues through an alternative to divorce litigation, such as mediation or direct negotiations. However, if they are unable to do so, they must rely on a judge to make these decisions for them, and unfortunately, the outcome might not be what one or both of the parties would have liked.

Source:, "Deciding where to live during and after a divorce", Dawn Doebler, Feb. 6, 2018

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