How much should you fight to keep the family home during your divorce? The answer isn't always a simple one. Many divorcing spouses want to stay in their home and may have kids that make the decision even more complex. But many couples are best advised to let the house go instead of fighting for it. Which side should you fall on? Here are a few reasons to make each choice.
When to Fight for the House
Certainly, if the marital home is the primary (or only) home your children have known, it may be beneficial for them to stay in it. Custodial spouses may feel that the benefits to their kids, both emotional benefits and things like staying in the same school, outweigh any potential financial loss for keeping the house. Even a spouse who only has the kids part-time could make this same choice.
Is your family home paid off, or is it in an area where home prices have skyrocketed and you can't afford to buy again? In either situation, your finances may be better off using it as your primary home. You avoid a costly mortgage, meaning you'll have more wiggle room in your monthly budget, and it may prevent you from having to move.
When Not to Fight for the House
Is the family home your largest marital asset? If so, it represents a large chunk of your shared assets. Keeping it usually means giving up other financial assets in the divorce negotiations. But will the house do you as much good over time as cash, retirement accounts, and investments? If not, focus on what will actually bring the most benefit.
Can you honestly afford to keep the house on an ongoing basis? If you're going from a two-income household to a one-income household, or you're the lower-earning spouse, you may find that the joy of your home is outweighed by the monthly mortgage, repairs and maintenance, property taxes, and labor needed to maintain the home alone. Don't let a house dangerously strain your post-divorce finances.
How to Decide
The decision to fight for your marital home or to let it go isn't always an easy one. Clearly, both emotional and financial factors should be weighed. This may be done with the help of a family and divorce attorney in your state. They can help you avoid making the wrong assumptions about your family home and instead make the best choice for a better future. Make an appointment today.