Deciding Whether to Sell or Keep the Marital Home


When dividing marital assets during a Pasadena divorce, the question of what to do with the marital home weighs heavily on the minds of many couples.

It's common after divorce for both spouses to crave a fresh start. If you both agree that you want to sell the house, you can split the proceeds. This is the easiest resolution to the dilemma of what to do with the marital home, assuming you can find a suitable buyer. If no immediate buyer is available, you may need to rent out the home temporarily and sell at a later date.

If one spouse wants to keep the marital home, he or she must create a budget to show that the expense of home ownership is workable. If the home was purchased on the premise that both spouses would be working and paying for expenses, it might not be feasible for a single party to remain.

If one spouse has the money to remain in the marital home, he or she needs to come up with a way to buy out the other spouse's interest in the home. California is a community property state, which means that assets belong equally to both parties even if they have widely different incomes or one spouse was a stay at home parent for the duration of the marriage. For one spouse to buy out the other spouse, they will need to do a comparative analysis or an appraisal to determine the market value of the home. This can be a complex process, given the current fluctuations in the value of real estate.

Keep in mind that it is important for the valuation date of the appraisal to be recorded in court documents. If the value of the property increases after the valuation date, the spouse who remained in the house might be eligible to receive extra money from the sale.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena divorce attorneys can help ensure that you receive a fair settlement, regardless of what you decide to do with your marital home.