It is not unusual to meet with a couple during a divorce mediation where it seems like there are insurmountable issues that cannot be resolved. For instance, husband and wife want different outcomes for the house. But since there is only one house, now what? As an experienced mediator, I would ask the parties why they want the house. The husband wants it so he can get his equity and buy another house. Husband doesn’t really care if the house is sold or not, he wants his equity and his name off the mortgage. The wife wants it because it is near the school and she wants the kids to keep their same rooms. Is there a way that wife can pay husband his equity? Wife cannot afford to pay him cash, but what if wife could trade other assets she is entitled to and be able to “pay” husband his equity? Maybe she could then refinance. Perhaps she trades her portion of the 401K or part of their investment account for this share of the house. This seems too simple and it rarely is. But there are ways to split the pie so both sides get what they want to move forward. It is a matter of compromise, problem solving and looking for creative solutions.
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