Determining if you should keep your marital home during a divorce is a hard decision. On one hand, you do not want to move your children into a new environment while they are going through a transition period. On the other hand, you might not be able to afford your marital home on your own without your spouse’s help. Today, we go over the reasons why you may or may not keep your marital home for your children during a divorce.
Important Considerations Regarding Your Marital Home
In some cases, keeping the family home after a divorce is not the best option. Perhaps you cannot afford the family home, or it requires continuous maintenance and care, two things you may not have the time to complete. If your home was purchased by both you and your spouse, you will need to make mortgage payments, pay property taxes, and additional expenses such as utilities and homeowner insurance. If you realize that keeping your home would be time-consuming, stressful, or expensive, you should consider other options.
You may have also negotiated what to do with the marital home during your divorce and decided to sell it. In this case, you cannot keep your marital home as it was part of your divorce negotiations. You will need to inform your children of this decision and be supportive of them and their feelings as you look for a new home.
However, sometimes keeping the family home after a divorce is a good move. If your children would be negatively impacted by changing environments, it would not be advisable to sell your home and move away. It is also not advisable to continue to live in a home you cannot afford though, so be realistic when making this decision.
Additionally, if you can afford to keep your home and you realize its value will continue to increase over time, staying in your family home would be a smart decision.
Understand Post-Divorce Relocation Laws
Before moving your children to a new home, you will want to either set up an agreement with your ex-spouse or involve the court to modify a prior court order. You will want to consult with an experienced attorney beforehand. Even though parents can come to an agreement regarding relocation, you may still need to address the court as relocation could mean modifying certain other matters such as child custody and child support. You may also need to modify your parenting plan in the event you must accommodate for additional travel from your home to your ex-spouse’s.
If you cannot reach an agreement regarding relocation, you will need to petition the court for assistance.
Get the Marital Home Appraised
It is always a good idea to get the family home appraised during a divorce. This ensures that the spouse who will not reside in the home receives his/her fair amount of money in return. It will also provide the spouse who is keeping the marital home with an idea of how much the house is worth. This information will be helpful as you determine whether you should keep or sell the house.
Inform Your Children of the Changes
Be honest with your children about your decisions regarding your marital home. You will want to be patient and understanding of their feelings as they will be going through a substantial transition.
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