The house is one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Homeownership is important in a couple’s finances and might mean a lot to one spouse who is financially dependent on the other. Furthermore, the residence may have considerable emotional significance for one or both spouse. After all, you bought it when you were happy and may have raised (or are raising) children in it. As a result, partitioning the house is not only one of the most contentious divorce issues, but also one of the most contentious disputes.
Who owns the property?
The first step in deciding what to do with the house is to determine who legally owns it. In many circumstances, the deed is signed by both spouse. If the residence is legally owned by only one of the spouse, it is essential to consult with an attorney on how to proceed.
Selling or Keeping the House?
If both spouses own the property, you have two choices: sell or stay. It is critical to get the house appraised before making any big decisions. You and your spouse must both be aware of the home’s monetary value. You must also examine the monthly or yearly cost of the home to you: mortgage payment, insurance, and upkeep. Financial planners urge us not to spend more than 1/4 of our income on our homes, so those are roughly the guidelines you’ll want to stay in while considering your unique life circumstances.
Once you’ve done the calculations, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions.
- If the children are still at home, it’s reasonable for the spouse with primary custody to stay at home. That way, the children are not uprooted by having to move to a new home and school while also dealing with their parents’ divorce.
- There are no relocating hassles for the spouse who stays: friendships, work arrangements, professional networks, and community affairs are some reasons why spouses decide to stay in the family home.
- Whether it is because the house will bring up bad older memories or because the good memories will be romanticized, the remaining spouse may not enjoy living in what was previously their marital home.
- The spouse who stays may be unable to afford the mortgage and upkeep. While many individuals are concerned about children, experts agree that people are more important than places for children. So, keep that in mind: It’s key that the children feel safe and loved above all else.
- There won’t be another spouse to help with maintenance—all will fall on you. Maintenance may be hard to keep up with by yourself, which may cause snowballing issues if repairs do not get addressed in an appropriate amount of time.
- Selling the home is sometimes easier than arguing over who gets to keep the home (and even worse: your children seeing it play out).
- Selling the marital home implies that you will both start over in a new home. Whatever you may call it– a fresh start, a new beginning, or a clean slate; It may be a healthier for all parties to leave the family home.
- The market may not be on your side. Divorce does not necessarily occur at the most advantageous time for the house market. You might not obtain as much money for your house as you wish depending on the real estate market in your location.
- Selling entails moving and the related expenses, as well as the hassle of locating a new home and maybe new schools for your children.
Other Strategies for Dealing with The House Include:
- For an agreed-upon period of time, both parties continue to co-own the home. This option can be useful for parents who want to stay at home with their children until they reach the age of 18, for example.
- Some couples choose to rent out their property. Sometimes, this gives you the best of both worlds: you’re not in the family home, but you get to technically keep it (and the rental income!).
Arizona’s Family Law Firm
Ending a marriage can be very emotional, even more so when couples have young children. When facing separation, many spouses will admit that their marital problems have been brewing for a long time. No matter who files the petition, do plan for the legal process. Ask an experienced divorce attorney with Stewart Law Group to be your guide through each step of every legal proceeding. Obtaining specific advice can help you avoid pitfalls that could seriously damage your case.