Should I Keep the House in the Divorce?
When you get divorced, there are a lot of things to think about. One question that often comes up is whether to keep the house. This can be a difficult decision, but there are some factors to consider that can help make the decision easier. Keep reading for tips on how to decide whether to keep the house in a divorce.
Can You Afford to Keep the House?
When considering whether to keep your marital home after divorce, think about several things. It is a great idea to create a spreadsheet listing out all this information so you can see it all in one spot.
If you are getting divorced, chances are your income will change. Whether it is because you are no longer working or because you are now the sole breadwinner, it is important to take a close look at how much money you are bringing in each month. Once you have a good idea of what your income is going to be, you can start to make a budget and see if staying in your house is feasible.
The Mortgage Payment
Figure out how much your mortgage payment would be if you were to keep the house. This can be a tricky calculation because it will depend on a few different factors, including:
- The balance of your mortgage: If you have a lot of equity in your home, your monthly mortgage payment will be lower than if you only have a little equity.
- The interest rate on your mortgage: This can fluctuate over time, so you will need to know what the current interest rate is.
- The length of your mortgage: A shorter mortgage will have higher monthly payments than a longer one.
Once you have all this information, you can use an online mortgage calculator to get an estimate of your monthly payments. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate; your actual payments may be higher or lower depending on changes in interest rates or other factors.
Property Taxes and Homeowners Insurance
In addition to your mortgage payment, you will also need to budget for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. The amount you will pay in property taxes will depend on the value of your home and the tax rates in your area. Homeowner’s insurance rates can vary depending on the value of your home, its location, and the type of coverage you choose. Again, use an online calculator to get estimates for these costs.
Maintenance and Upkeep Costs
Owning a home also means being responsible for all the maintenance and upkeep costs. These can include things like painting, repairs, landscaping, and snow removal. Make sure to factor these costs into your budget when determining whether you can afford to keep the house after your divorce.
Do You Have Alternative Housing Options?
A divorce is challenging for many reasons, many of them financial. Figuring out where you are going to live both during and after the divorce add to the complexities. Many couples choose to sell the marital home and split the proceeds, but this is not always possible. If you need alternative housing options, here are some ideas.
Renting an Apartment or House
One option is to rent an apartment or house. This can be a great way to save money, as you will not have to worry about upkeep or maintenance costs. Another plus is that you can easily move if you need to. On the downside, however, you may have to deal with noisy neighbors or a less than ideal location.
Sharing a House or Apartment
If you are friends with someone going through a divorce, you may want to consider sharing a house or apartment. This can be a great way to keep costs down and provide some much-needed company during what is sure to be a difficult time. Just be sure that you trust the person you are moving in with, as things can quickly get complicated (and expensive) if they do not hold up their end of the bargain.
Buying a House
If you have the finances for it, buying a house outright may be the best option for you. This will give you complete control over your living situation and allow you to put down roots in your community. Of course, it also means that you will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance, so be sure that you are prepared for that before making such a major purchase.
Moving in With Family or Friends
In some cases, moving in with family or friends may be the best option available. This can be especially true if you have children who need stability during this difficult time. Just keep in mind that living with someone else can sometimes lead to its own set of problems down the road. Be sure that you have a solid plan in place and that everyone involved is on the same page before making this type of arrangement permanent.
What if I Want to Sell the House?
If your divorce is over and you have gotten your final divorce decree stating that you get sole possession of the marital home, that becomes your separate property, and you can do what you want with it. Now, your ex-spouse may not be happy if you quickly turn around and sell it after your divorce. Ultimately, however, it is entirely up to you.
Be aware, however, if you do not yet have your final divorce decree, you cannot sell your marital home without your spouse’s consent. The home still belongs to both of you, and you will need to have special permission to make a sale.
A Marlton Divorce Lawyer at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A., Helps You Protect Your Assets in Divorce
Getting a divorce is an emotional process, one that is often all-consuming. But to make sure that your assets are protected, and your divorce reaches a fair conclusion, it may be prudent to speak with a divorce attorney. A Marlton divorce lawyer at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A., stands ready to help guide you through this process. Contact us today at 856-890-9400 or contact us online to schedule your consultation with our experienced team. With offices in Marlton, New Jersey, we proudly serve our neighbors in South Jersey, Marlton, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and statewide.