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Keep or Sell Your House During Divorce?


At Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers, we understand that deciding whether to keep or sell the family home during divorce can result in constant conflicts and emotional outbursts between both spouses along with escalating the attention your mediator and lawyers need to give the matter and lengthening your divorce process. While your house may contain a great sense of comfort and a stable place to raise your children, a divorce can be costly and court orders for spousal and child support may limit how much you are capable of spending.

Considerations for Keeping or Selling Your House When Getting a Divorce

When making the decision to keep or sell your house when getting a divorce, consider the following:

  • Why do you want to keep the house?
    • Whether you may consider your home as a place of shelter and practicality or a place where many treasured memories were made, what does the house represent to you? It’s imperative to create a list of the advantages and disadvantages of living in the house. This exercise can help you identify the importance of your home or lead to looking for someplace else.
  • What are your housing options?
    • Take the opportunity to consider alternatives which may enable you to afford the same lifestyle or better. What are the prices of houses in your surrounding area when you figure in the tax deductions for mortgage loan interest? Are there suitable apartments or rental properties within your children’s school district?
  • Can you afford your home on your own when the divorce ends?
    • Despite how much you may want to remain in your home, your financial situation will likely make a notable change following a divorce. Are you able to qualify on your own income to refinance the mortgage in your name? Even after rising real estate taxes, utility bills, maintenance and repairs, will you still able to afford your home and start your new life?
  • What is the value of your home?
    • It’s important to know the value of your home before you discuss settlement as well as looking at any issues which would affect the overall selling value as well as your ability to maintain the home after the divorce. Is there any equity in the home? If you sell the home, will you end up owing money after realtor fees and closing costs? How old is your home? What repairs need to be done? Is the roof in good condition? Does the HVAC system need replacing?
  • What will you give up to keep it?
    • You are able to trade retirement or other assets for the other spouse’s equity in the house. While retirement planning can be difficult during a divorce because you are already dividing the funds between the parties, can you afford to allow your spouse to keep even more of retirement funds or other assets to keep the house?

For more information, contact Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers to request your consultation today.

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