Keeping the House in a Divorce

Guest Author Bio: Elizabeth Roque is an in-house writer for Franklin Debt Relief. She presents information about debt relief programs, credit card debt reduction and getting out of debt on a variety of financial sites online.

Divorce is a difficult decision in and of itself but after the decision has been made, there are a lot more considerations that must be taken into account.  One of these considerations is what to do about the marital assets, namely the house.  Keeping or selling the house is not just about whether or not you “want” to keep it; there is a lot more to it than that.  If you are considering keeping the home, can you afford it?

The question on whether you can afford it is a two pronged question.  It includes (1) whether or not you have the assets or individual cash flow available to cover half of the value of the equity in the house that must be paid to your spouse if you decide to keep the house and (2) whether or not you can afford to maintain the home.  If you do not have the assets necessary to cover half of the value of the equity of the home, there is still a chance that you can keep the home but the division process is significantly more complicated.  Your ability to split the marital assets equally will play a big role in whether or not the house should be sold and the profits split or whether you will actually be able to keep it.

Next, take a realistic look at your finances and determine if you have the funds to maintain the home and pay all of the taxes and fees necessary on a yearly basis.  If you decide to keep the home, you will have to update all of your marital loan, title, tax records, and homeowner’s insurance information to reflect the change in ownership.  You must be able to afford the costs of updating these documents.  You should also be able to cover routine and unexpected maintenance when necessary.