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Should you keep your home after a divorce?

In most divorces, there is a mixing of issues that can cause difficulties for the parties. You have issues of finances. How much money is in the bank accounts, investment accounts, real and personal property, and the incomes of the couple?

You have the specific activities that will be governed by the parenting plan and deal with matters of where the child or children will spend time and the decision-making process that will control their education, healthcare and religious activities.

And you have the emotional weight that each parent gives to all of those other issues.

Decisions involving property division often demonstrate this complexity. If the couple has been married for a time and has lived in a single residence, it is likely that the family home carries a significant emotional attachment and it may also carry a substantial financial impact.

If they have spent much time in the home and their children have lived there, the parties may wish to retain the property due to the emotional memories that have occurred. But all of that emotional attachment must be tempered with financial realism.

Does the home carry a mortgage? Could either party afford to buy out the interest of the other party and secure a mortgage in their own name? Is the home necessary for the family after the marriage has ended? Would they be able to afford the property tax and maintenance costs going forward?

Your divorce attorney can help you disentangle the emotional from the financial, by helping you work through your property division and develop a budget of your expenses and your income, accounting for any spousal support and child support that is likely in your divorce.

There are few symbols that are more powerful in American culture than the family home, but you want to be certain that keeping your old home after a divorce does not become a burden that you will soon grow to regret.

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