4 reasons your spouse might cede you the house in the divorce

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Your family home is typically the, or one of the, most valuable assets you own together. Therefore, if your spouse says, “Don’t worry. You take it,” you need to understand their motives.

While you should not assume your spouse is trying to rip you off, it pays to be cautious.

Here are three possible scenarios:

They know the house is worth less than you think

If you are not maintenance-minded, you may be unaware of existing damage that will require an extensive outlay in the next few years. Or perhaps your spouse believes that housing prices in your area are about to drop, and you will be left with an overpriced mortgage.

They are doing it for the children

Maybe your spouse thinks the children will be better off living with you most of the time. Allowing you to keep the family home will reduce the disruption in their lives.

They are planning on moving in with someone else

Perhaps your spouse has been seeing someone else who owns a penthouse in an exclusive part of town and plans to move in with them. If that is the case, your spouse may have no use for your current home in a less salubrious neighborhood.

They know a house is just one of the assets you hold

Many people focus on the house in a divorce, forgetting to look at it as part of the total sum of shared assets. If your spouse cedes the property to you, they will be able to claim a larger share of other assets.

Finding out more about how property division works can help you understand whether you should take your spouse’s offer to keep the home or whether it is a worse deal than it initially seems.

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