During a divorce, there is often quite a bit of controversy over the marital home. The family home is sometimes the most valuable asset in a divorce. In addition to the purely financial aspects of the home, leaving or selling the family residence can be very emotional, especially when children are involved.
If you Want to Keep the House, Make Sure You Have Good Reasons.
If you’re going through a divorce, and you want to keep the family home, there may be good reasons to stand your ground. Because selling or keeping a home after divorce can be a major, life-changing event, it’s important to know that your reasons are sound and that keeping the home will be in your best financial interests.
- The kids. School-aged children may be traumatized by a divorce, and being forced to move can compound their emotional distress. If you’re worried about this and aren’t sure what’s best for your family, consider speaking with a child psychologist or family therapist that who can help you figure it out.
- Emotional attachment. It’s often a very emotional decision whether to keep the family home; and although emotional attachment is not necessarily a “good” reason, it’s an understandable one. Many spouses become attached to their home because, for example, they’ve put lots of work into building their dream home, and it holds many great memories, or because their home has been in one spouse’s family for many generations.
There of lots of great reasons to try and keep the family home, but there are also some not-so-good reasons: spite, control, vindication, and greed. Don’t let the emotional aspects of a divorce cloud your otherwise sound judgment. While it’s easy to see why it might be hard to leave, you also need to consider what’s actually best for you in the long run.
If You’re Going to Fight to Keep the Family Home, Make Sure you can Afford It.
Today, families need to balance their wants and desires against the sometimes harsh financial realities of life after divorce. Not all families are able to maintain exactly the same lifestyle they had prior to the divorce.
While it would be nice to remain where you’re comfortable and avoid the hassles of moving, staying put might not be the best financial decision for you. No matter how attached you are to your home, it’s critical to have a realistic sense of whether you can afford it. If you give up everything else in order to keep the home, and then find that you can’t cover the mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance, you may end up in serious financial trouble.
It may be wise to hire a financial advisor or talk to someone who knows about financial planning, to help you determine whether, after the divorce, you’ll be able to cover the expenses of the home and still meet your other financial needs (such as saving for retirement).