During the process of divorce, you are likely to experience many changes to your life. With all of the uncertainty that abounds, it is not uncommon for people in the midst of a divorce to try to maintain a level of security and stability by continuing to live in their marital home, even after their divorce is finalized. Staying in the family home, however, is not always quite so simple.
Crucial Considerations Regarding the Family Home
The family home is usually included in the division of marital property, so the question of which spouse, if either, will retain possession of the home will need to be legally resolved. If you are deciding whether you should pursue possession of the home, there are a number of important questions to consider, including:
What is the state of the real estate market? If the home market is particularly hot and your home is likely to sell at a substantial profit, your best bet might be to sell and move into a new house—one that better fits your post-divorce situation. If the market is sluggish, you might be better off staying put.
Can you afford the mortgage payment? If you plan to stay in the home, you will need to do the math regarding your budget for the road ahead. It can be tough adjusting to relying on only your own income, and keeping your home will mean that the mortgage is likely to be refinanced in your name. Another way to look at this consideration is by asking yourself if it would make sense for you to buy this home if it went on the market.
What other costs are likely to arise? Your mortgage payment is likely to be the largest consistent expense related to your home, but there are other costs involved, including taxes, insurance, and general upkeep. Review the home’s current condition so that you can understand what the home will need in the near future.
How strong is your credit? Even if you think you can afford the mortgage payment, refinancing the mortgage in your name could end up changing the amount and term of the loan, especially if your credit is not the best. Your plans to keep the home could be derailed entirely if you cannot get approved for a mortgage without your spouse’s name on the note.
Will you be “house poor?” Being “house poor” is unfortunately common among the recently divorced. It happens when your house is your only significant asset, and you have little cash for other expenses. If keeping your home means tightening your budget to the point where you do not have money for much else—including savings—you might be setting yourself up for problems. It might be better to sell the home and split the proceeds with your spouse.
Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney
If you are considering a divorce and you have questions about the feasibility of keeping your marital home, contact an experienced DuPage County family lawyer. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation with a member of the team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today. We will work hard to ensure that your rights and best interests are fully protected.