When you divorce, you need to divide your assets between you. You can either come to an arrangement you are both OK with or leave it to a court to settle things according to state law.
Either way, if you own your home, it’s likely to be one of the most hotly contested assets. People often look at their home as their most valuable asset, forgetting that if they still have outstanding mortgage payments, they don’t actually own it. Many also fail to realize that courts look at the overall picture. So, if one person keeps the family home, the other may get a greater share of other assets to even things out.
Should you aim to keep your home or not?
It depends on many things. Here are some questions to consider:
- How valuable is staying where you are? It can provide stability for your children and can keep you close to friends, schools and more. However, you might prefer to start afresh and move to a new area or street.
- Can you afford to maintain it? Maybe it’s time to downsize to save on bills and cleaning time. If you wish to keep the property, you need to be sure you can pay the mortgage on one salary.
- What memories does your home hold for you? If every time you enter the garden, you recall how you built it up from a patch of wasteland; then it might be hard to let go. If you’re going to end up weeping every time you enter the bedroom because it reminds you of the time you found your spouse in bed with someone else, then maybe you need a fresh start elsewhere.
Getting legal help to discover more of the implications of keeping or not keeping the house in terms of the overall divorce settlement can help you make the correct choice.