Important Questions to Ask about Whether You Want the House in a Divorce

Knowing Why You Want the House in a Divorce

Though divorce can sometimes feel like war, it’s not supposed to be a competition, with a winner and a loser. Unfortunately, many parties treat it that way, particularly with respect to property. The perception is often that the party who takes home the most property is the winner, and that award customarily goes to the person who keeps the marital residence. But is it always in your best interests to keep the marital home? Here are some questions to ask before spend a lot of time and money trying to wrest the house from your ex.

  • Why do you want the home?—Are you the custodial parent and want your children to remain in the home, so that there’s minimal disruption in their lives. Is the home near your work or your children’s school? Did you bring the home into the marriage? There can be many valid reasons for wanting to keep the home—just be sure that your motivations are not primarily or unreasonably tied to emotions, including anger and retaliation.
  • Can you make the house payments?—You can have all the best reasons why you want to stay in the house, but if you can’t afford to, it’s not a good idea. You’ll only bring more stress, anxiety and grief to yourself and your children.
  • How could moving out of the house benefit you and your children?—Staying in the marital home can saddle you with more than the financial commitment of the home. For you and your children, it can be a constant reminder of what has been lost. Furthermore, with a different, perhaps smaller, home, you may have dollars freed up to provide other benefits to your children.
  • What are your other living options?—Maybe you can move closer to friends and family. Maybe you can find a location that’s more convenient for you and your children. Too often, parties to a divorce fail to perceive that there are more than two options—keeping the house or losing the house.
  • Are you really getting the best deal by getting to keep the house?—Even if your house is paid off, you may be better off taking other assets of equal value, as you won’t have maintenance expenses, utilities and potential capital tax gains.

Contact the Law Office of Len Conner & Associates

At the Law Office of Len Conner Associates, we offer a free initial consultation in all family law matters, including issues relating to divorce. Send us an e-mail or call our office at (972) 445-1500 or 972-445-1500 if you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Or call us toll free at (877) 613-5800 for an appointment.

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