For many California couples who are preparing for a divorce, determining what to do with the family home may be the most difficult decision that needs to be made. Some former couples choose to sell the family home and split the proceeds while others choose to have one former spouse buy out the other. What a former couple chooses to do with the family home will depend on their unique set of circumstances.

In the event that one former spouse wants to keep the family home, several steps will need to be taken before discussions begin. First, the value of the home must be estimated in order to determine if one person is able to buy out the other person. Once the value is known, the former couple can subtract what is owed and divide the remaining half to determine each person’s share in the home.

The next step is to come up with the money. In some cases, this may mean buying out the other person using tangible assets or a portion of the person’s share in other marital assets. Otherwise, the person may refinance with his or her bank or add an equity line of credit. If these are not options, selling the family home and moving on may be the most realistic course of action.

Depending on the type and value of marital assets that a former couple has, the divorce process may be lengthy and emotionally draining, especially if the arguments are centered around the family home. A divorce attorney may help determine the value of the different marital assets and assist with drafting up a beneficial divorce agreement. Additionally, if there are children in the picture, the attorney may be ableto facilitate buying out the other parent for the family home if it is in the children’s best interest.