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Creative Options for the Marital Home in a Michigan Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Oakland County Divorce AttorneyEarlier this year on our blog, we addressed the question of what happens to the marital home in a divorce. In that post, we noted that in most cases, one spouse either buys out the other’s share of the home, or the spouses agree to sell the home and divide the proceeds. However, you may be wondering whether these are the only options. Perhaps you find it hard to bear the thought of parting with your home at the moment, but you lack the financial resources to keep it on your own.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it may be possible to come up with a more customized solution, especially if you and your spouse are willing to consider an alternative dispute resolution method like mediation or collaborative divorce. Here, we look at some of the more creative options for handling your home and living arrangements after a divorce.

Alternatives to Dividing the Marital Home in Divorce

In many divorce cases, children are the driving factor for seeking alternative arrangements for the family home. As a parent, it may be important for you to keep your children’s home lives as stable as possible as your family goes through such a monumental change. The location of your home may also be important for your children to continue attending the same school or to be close to their friends and other relatives. A couple of options that parents often consider include:

  • Deferring the division of the home - In order to allow the parent with primary custody of the children to stay in the home, you may decide that you and your spouse should continue as co-owners of your home for a time after your divorce, with both of you contributing to mortgage and utility payments and other upkeep costs.

  • Birdnesting - As a variation of the previous approach, you may decide on an agreement in which your children stay in the same home full-time, while you and your spouse alternate living in the home during your scheduled time with the children.

It is important to note that these arrangements tend to work best on a temporary basis and that you should work with your spouse to clearly define the details of the arrangements, including the date when they will end. For example, you may decide that a sale or buyout of the home should happen when your youngest child graduates from high school or moves out, or when a parent is able to find another suitable residence.

Contact a Novi Divorce Attorney

At Elkouri Heath, PLC, we help our clients find the personal solutions that best work for them as they end their marriages. If you are interested in co-owning your home with your spouse after divorce, we can help you explore the resolution methods that can make this possible and negotiate for an arrangement that protects your interests. Call us today at 248-344-9700 to schedule a free consultation with an Oakland County family law attorney.




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