Separation and divorce creates one of the most difficult financial decisions we experience. Most notably, the largest asset most of us will ever acquire now hangs in the balance – The Family Home.
Through the property division process, it is often the matrimonial home that must be sold. The sale of your home is not without hardship. As a married couple you have celebrated birthdays and created memories together in the home – your home is not ‘just an asset.’
Selling your home can be a significant negative emotional experience, and even traumatic. The negative experiences associated with selling your home can be offset by considering some of the following things as you move ahead.
As a married couple you have celebrated birthdays and created memories together in the home – your home is not ‘just an asset.’
five great strategies
Here are 5 tips to help you navigate this path forward prioritizing your children’s wellbeing and financial security.
Get a market valuation in the form of a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) before listing your home.
Acquire at least two CMA’s from realtors in different brokerages. Or spend a few hundred dollars and hire a licensed appraiser and source at least one CMA. Why is this a good idea? Because on occasion realtors may suggest a list price below fair market value. Yes, this will result in a quicker sale, making the listing agent look like a super-hero, but the homeowner ends up being the loser because of diminished equity. The goal in getting an appraisal/CMA’s is that you’ll capture the highest sale price that a willing buyer will pay for your home in the current market. That is the sweet spot!
Be mindful to provide your children with the emotional support they need.
The sale of your matrimonial home may be a negative experience for everyone, especially your children. Moving from their neighbourhood, changing friends, schools, and an upcoming shift in parenting roles are all potential sources of stress and anxiety. Ensure that your children are receiving the emotional support they need to prevent these changes from being a traumatic experience. When possible, consider downsizing within the same neighbourhood near one another. This would create independence for each parent, while keeping your children within the same neighbourhood, schools and close to friends.
Ensure your children do not lose access to advanced educational and support systems.
If your child has special needs and is reliant on advanced educational and support systems, removing them from those resources will likely induce significant emotional hardship on that child. Kids with elevated Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’S) are more susceptible to negative outcomes in their teen and adult lives. Work collaboratively in your mediated agreement to evaluate and implement the optimal housing and living arrangements that will continue to provide your children with access to the programs they need.
Consider an interspousal transfer to enable a partner to remain in the home.
By working together to brainstorm creative solutions, there often may be an opportunity for one parent to remain in the home if that is the agreed upon path for your repurposed family unit. An inter-spousal transfer can distribute assets from one parent to the other, such as the transfer of vehicles, vacation property, RRSPs, pension plans and spousal support.
Seek the help of a mediator to gain fresh perspective, while saving time and money.
Mediators bring clarity and help you and your partner participate in a process where each partner feels heard, understood, and respected. Mediators guide you and your partner through genuine conversation, which is more effective and less adversarial than litigation. We encourage a “listen and understand” approach, while placing a strong emphasis on positive outcomes for your children. Additionally, we help create boundaries and strong communication for you and your partner to foster a positive and respectful relationship, especially during conflict. The mediation process saves time, money and heartache – giving you closure to move forward with a fresh start.
We offer multiple ways to connect for a free consultation, either alone for 15 minutes, or with you and your partner for 1 hour.
We have witnessed the positive impact of our process in changing the way couples and families move through divorce. We want to do the very same for you.