One of the most complex decisions in a divorce is the settlement of the family home. Deciding who keeps the house during a divorce requires careful consideration. Understanding the most important factors that influence the decision can help you come to an agreement.
There are four things to think about as you begin negotiation.
1. Financial stability
Consider both financial situations carefully to determine which of you is better suited to cover the costs of maintaining the home. Assess the cost of the mortgage, taxes, utilities and ongoing maintenance costs. The chosen homeowner should have the financial stability to sustain the home without compromising their financial well-being. Forbes reports that a divorcing couple’s financial standard of living drops by between 21%-45% after divorce, so consider the effect of the divorce on your financial position before you decide.
2. Emotional attachment
The emotional ties to a family home are more significant than many people think. When deciding who keeps the home, acknowledge that sentimental attachment. Consider the possibility of nesting or co-ownership to honor that connection.
3. Children’s stability
For couples divorcing with children, the children’s stability factors into the decision about the family home. The spouse with primary custody might keep the home to maintain some consistency and stability for the children amidst the changes.
4. Other assets
The marital home is traditionally among the most significant assets in the marriage. Consider how the house fits into the overall division of assets so that you ensure an equitable division overall. This often means that the spouse keeping the family home sacrifices other significant assets in exchange.
Considering the practical elements of asset division with the family home helps couples reduce the conflict associated with the decision. Minimizing that conflict could also facilitate a faster, more peaceful resolution to your divorce, especially if it eliminates the need for litigation.