Dealing with the marital home is one of the biggest pieces of the property division process. It is likely a significant portion of the marriage's assets; it is a complicated, unique piece of property that can be tough to price; and it often comes with a lot of emotional investment on both sides. Many spouses fight tooth and nail to keep their home in the divorce, but a report by Forbes highlights the fact that this is not always a good idea. While there may be legitimate reasons to fight for the marital home, people should go in with their eyes open about the true costs.
Reasons to Keep the Marital Home
Most people who want to keep the home do it for at least one of two reasons. First, they are worried about the kids. Divorce can be difficult for children, and the added stress of moving to a new, likely smaller, home and maybe even a new school can make it harder on them. Conscientious parents often fight to keep the house, so that they do not disrupt the kids’ lives more than necessary. Second, the pure emotional value of the home makes people want to keep it. Many people have grown attached to their houses. They made lives in them, raised families in them, and maybe even put work or money into rebuilding or remodeling them. This is a difficult issue. On the one hand, these are reasonable, valid feelings to have, and if the home is that important, it may make sense to fight for it. On the other hand, these emotional issues often blind people to the cost of keeping the home.
Problems with Keeping the Marital Home
The core problem with keeping the house is that having a house is a lot more expensive than having a bank account equal to the house's value. Houses come with upkeep, maintenance, and property taxes that can end up draining away funds. This is especially important to consider in light of the fact that a divorce often means a reduced income. If the house took two incomes to maintain, it might not be possible to keep it with only one. This leaves the spouse who got the house holding the bag. He or she may end up having to try to sell the house, a particular problem in today's housing market. Even with these issues it may still worth fighting for the home, either for the kids or for its emotional value, but these costs should make a spouse going through divorce take a clear-eyed look at the financial realities of taking the home before choosing to fight for it.
If you are considering a divorce and have other questions about how property is divided, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney
today. Our firm is here to help you learn about all your options for divorce.