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Even using collaborative law may not be enough to save the house

The real estate market in British Columbia inflated beyond anyone's expectations recently, and home values are at historic highs. For some homeowners, it's like a dream come true. For those men and women going through a divorce, however, it may not be such good news. Even in a non-confrontational divorce using collaborative law, it might not be possible to hang on to the marital home.

When two people divorce in BC, they split their assets evenly. This includes the value of the family home. In order for one person to keep the home, either that person must buy out the other person's share, or the other person receives equal value in additional assets. If the home is worth far more than it once was, however, neither of these scenarios may be possible.

It might be impossible for either party to pay half the value of the home to the other party on a single income if the home has significantly increased in value. Additionally, there may not be enough value in the remaining assets to compensate the party who gives up the house. It may be that the only possible course of action is to sell the home and split the profit. 

A divorce can be an emotionally difficult process to go through even in the best of circumstances. Giving up one's home may be the last thing one wishes to do. Whether a couple chooses a collaborative law divorce, or opts to follow a different path, a British Columbia family lawyer can help either party in a search for solutions to pressing problems. 

Source: The Globe and Mail, "Realtors find a niche in clients who are getting divorced", Rob Csernyik, May 5, 2017

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