As you prepare for your divorce proceedings in California, one question inevitably surfaces: who gets the house? Dealing with the equitable division of a marital home can be one of the most complex and contentious aspects of a divorce.

The pros and cons of fighting to keep (or sell) your marital home depends on where both you and your ex-spouse are in your lives. If you have children, it may be best for one of you to keep the house (in order to limit the impact of the divorce on the kids’ lives). Yet if you have no children in your home, then both of you may be best served to sell the home and split the proceeds of the sale.

If you stay…

If you wish to stay in the house, you may seek to simply continue making your mortgage payments according to your current repayment schedule. If you wish to do this, you may want to push for a provision in your divorce agreement that addresses mortgage payments (whether that be for one of you to continue to make the full payment or for you both to pay a portion of it).

If you do not want to deal with the stress of trying to work with your ex-spouse to make mortgage payments, the website Money.com suggests either refinancing or recasting your home loan in order for you to assume full control of it.

If you sell…

If the aforementioned scenario, if you are the one leaving the home and your ex-spouse wishes to refinance, you will want to ensure that you receive your stake in the equity you have already accrued in your home. The same holds true if the two of you elect to sell the home outright.