Questions to Ask Before Fighting to Keep the House in a Divorce

Feb 16, 2016

When you’re getting divorced, so much changes at once that you may be tempted to hold onto your home for one bastion of stability. The choice to try and retain a house in a split is often driven by emotion, however, and may not be in your best interest financially. Ask yourself some questions about this choice, and discuss them with your divorce attorney, before deciding whether you should keep your house in a divorce.

Will a mortgage be unaffordable post-divorce?

    The mortgage payments on your home may have been manageable with both you and your spouse in the home, but you may not be accurately estimating what they will be like on a single income. You will almost definitely have some added expenses after a divorce as a result of living on your own, but you may also have additional costs such as an alimony or child support payment that take up a substantial chunk of your budget. If you’re about to re-enter the work force after years of staying home with children, this may also result in a lower income than you were previously accustomed to receiving. Ensure that you’re accurately calculating a budget with your mortgage payment in it.

    Are you accurately valuing your home?

      If you’ve been in your house for an extended period of time, you may have put hours of “sweat equity” into it. Additionally, you may have watched your children grow up in the house, and they themselves may wish to stay in it. But it would be bad for your children over the long-term for you to hold onto a home to which you’re sentimentally attached, but which is no longer a sound investment. A number of factors should be considered in determining the value of the home, such as whether there are any expensive, large-scale repairs due soon; what portion of the equity will be lost due to realtor fees or refinancing; the cost to move; or any tax implications.

      Will you be able to obtain a refinanced mortgage?

        If you and your spouse bought the home together, chances are good that both your names are on the mortgage, meaning you will need to obtain a refinanced mortgage that is solely in your name. If your credit is poor, or if you have a minimal work history after staying home with kids, this could be a challenge. Consider the possibility that you may not be able to obtain a refinanced mortgage, or that it will be at a higher interest rate than your current mortgage, and whether you wish to take that on.

        If you are in need of legal help for your Kentucky divorce, custody dispute, or adoption matter, contact the experienced Florence family law attorney Greta Hoffman for a consultation on your case, at 859-535-0264.