Most married couples wait for the day when they can own their own homes. However, if the marriage should ever end in divorce, those couples in Michigan may find what they once dreamed of owning could be the cause of consternation. Some couples may choose to keep the family home with one parent living in it with the children, while others might sell the home after the divorce is final. It actually could be better to sell the marital home before the divorce.
Much depends on the situation and the real estate market. For instance, if the market is red hot before a couple actually files for divorce — after they have agreed divorce is imminent — it would be best if the home sold beforehand to get the best possible price. Taking advantage of a seller’s market might be the right decision if a couple knows their marriage has reached its end.
While a couple is still married, they could also take advantage of the $500,000 capital gains exclusion ($250,000 for each spouse). If the house sells after a divorce, it is possible that one of the $250,000 exemptions may not apply. Another good reason for selling while still married is for privacy reasons. If a home is sold during a divorce or after, most information becomes public knowledge, while selling it while still married keeps much of that information private.
Whether to sell a marital home before divorce is a personal and difficult decision. But it could really be smart for divorcing Michigan couples to do. Each person would be smart to seek independent legal advice about various options available for a divorcing couple that owns a home.