The specifics of divorce are not necessarily fought in a courtroom. The preferred scenario is for the details to be worked out in mediation, overseen by a qualified, neutral third party. Both you and your spouse are entitled to legal representation during the process, and this can be advantageous as you discuss such matters as the division of assets as well as custody and visitation for any children. One potential key conflict is when one party wishes to retain the previously shared family home. Again, this does not need to become a typical legal battle, and family dispute resolution can rectify the issue during mediation. If it's you who wishes to retain the family home, there are several points you need to be aware of.
Ownership of the family home is generally shared in the legal sense, meaning that both you and your spouse have a financial stake (equity) in the asset. For one party to take over sole ownership of the asset, the other party will need to be compensated to the value of their equity. This is the value of the property excluding the amount of the mortgage that is still owed. While you might dearly wish to take sole ownership of the property, you need to strongly consider whether you're in a financial position to do so.
Your Financial Position
Buying out your spouse is not a complicated process in theory, but your own finances will need to be sufficiently sturdy. Consider your own income, and whether it will be adequate for paying the mortgage without any financial input from your spouse. As for buying out your spouse's equity, you might not have the cash reserves to do so. However, you could conceivably receive a reduced share (or no share at all) in other shared financial assets. Your portion of these shared financial assets might be of sufficient value to buy out your spouse's equity.
A significant conflict can arise when you're not in a financial position to immediately buy out your spouse's equity, but this can often be discussed in family dispute resolution. Mitigating circumstances can include when you have shared custody of your children and vacating the premises with a view to sell would adversely affect your children's daily life. In this instance, the matter could be deferred by mutual agreement. You could retain physical (if not legal) ownership of the property until such time as your children leave home. Depending on the ages of your children, your spouse might be unwilling to wait, but this is something to be discussed in mediation. If this course of action is agreed upon, the home can be sold at a later stage, or you might have found the means to buy out your spouse's equity in the interim.
One party wanting to keep the family home can be a key dispute in a divorce, but it's not an insurmountable obstacle. For more information, reach out to a professional about family dispute resolution.