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Get two home appraisals during divorce

If you and your spouse are getting divorced, one of your biggest challenges may be deciding how you are going to divide your home. The best way to get this process started is for both of you to set up your own home appraisal.

Having two appraisals done means you can feel confident in the results. It also means there are no questions about a biased appraiser. If the results are not exactly the same, you can find some middle ground. For instance, perhaps the first appraisal comes in at $260,000 and the second comes in at $240,000. You can split the difference and assume the value of the home is right around $250,000.

Of course, that is just the first step. Then you have to decide what you want to do with the house. You basic options include:

  • Selling the home and splitting up your earnings. For instance, if you still owe $150,000, you may come out $100,000 ahead. You both take $50,000.
  • Allowing one spouse to keep the home. This does offer stability, especially if children are involved, but it is wise to have that spouse refinance the house. This takes it out of the other person's name.
  • Keeping the home together. Some people do this when the market is down and it's not a good time to sell. For example, you could just rent the house out and split the earnings for the next year before you sell.

No matter what you decide to do, remember that a house is a major asset. You must know all of your rights and legal options.

Source: Nerd Wallet, "How to Split Home Value in a Divorce," Holden Lewis, accessed June 15, 2018

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