Should You Fight for the Marital Home?

The marital home is important to divorcing spouses, especially if children are involved and they are concerned about uprooting them and further disrupting the stability of their living situation. However, keeping the home is not necessarily a beneficial, so before you get embroiled in a long fight for the marital home, consider the financial repercussions of keeping it. It might be better for both you and your soon-to-be former spouse to let it go.

Why Keeping the Home is Not Always a Wise Decision

A home is symbolic in many ways. For a family, it can symbolize stability, affluence, and security. During a divorce, it can become a major point of contention for spouses and both parties might engage in a tug of war to hang onto it.

Here are some of the reasons why you should not fight for the marital home in a divorce:

  • If you cannot afford the payments, you cannot keep it: If the total amount of house payments, including insurance and real estate taxes, is greater than a third of your income, you could end up becoming house poor. You might be able to hang onto the house, but paying for basic necessities will becoming challenging. As much as you want to keep it, doing so might ultimately destroy you financially.
  • Your home might cost more than you think: In addition to the mortgage, insurance, and taxes, your home will also need maintenance and repairs, especially if it is an older home. Major repairs will eat a sizeable chunk of funds and you might not have enough to cover it. If you cannot maintain your home, owning your home might become too burdensome.
  • You need to refinance the mortgage: If you took out a mortgage on your home with your spouse, you will have to refinance or sell the property to take his or her name off the mortgage. Mortgage companies generally will not remove a spouse’s name just because of a divorce, so you will likely have to refinance. Depending on your situation, refinancing might not be a wise decision since you will have to do so at the current interest weight. If the interest rate you have right now is better, you will immediately be at a disadvantage.
  • Unless you sell it, you can never really know how much it is worth: You can likely get a relatively good estimate of what your home is worth, but even a certified appraisal can be inaccurate. The real value of your home is what you are able to get when you try to sell it. If you keep your house, you might end up with a raw deal if the estimated value is way off.

Schedule a Case Review with Our Knowledgeable Property Division Attorney!

Property division in a divorce can be a complicated issue in a divorce. Keeping the home might not be in your best interests, so make sure you contact an experienced property division attorney to assist you. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff, our property division attorney has over three decades of experience, which he will use to your advantage.

Contact our law office today at (805) 633-4999 to schedule a consultation.

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