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Should you keep the house after divorce?

When a couple decides that divorce is the best solution for their future, they often struggle through the process of asset and debt division. The family home likely represents the single biggest financial piece of their overall puzzle with retirement funds, a private business and valuable collections topping the list as well. Historically, the divorcing couple would often choose to sell the home and split the profits as they moved into their new, independent futures. Are there reasons, however, to keep the house after your divorce?

Reasons to keep the family home after a divorce:

  • Financially, it makes sense: If you have other assets that you would like to balance the cost of the house with, it might make sense to offer these assets during the property division phase of the divorce. For example, if you’d rather have the house than your stake in the family business, you can negotiate this deal.
  • For the children: Children of divorce often struggle in invisible ways. If the matrimonial home is the only house the children have ever known, you could hold onto the house. This decision only makes sense, however, if it is financially wise to keep the home. The children, while a critical factor in your future, shouldn’t drive a decision that might place the entire family in financial peril.
  • Based on the market: In certain situations, it might make more sense to keep the house even if you are simply planning on selling it later. While the real estate market sees dramatic fluctuations, you might ultimately decide that the future worth of the home is greater than in the present time. In these situations, you might need to buy out your spouse or come up with a deal that allows you to retain ownership through the property division process.

Every divorce is different. A divorcing couple must navigate numerous challenges from dividing property to developing a comprehensive parenting plan. It is wise to consider all options rather than quickly agreeing to a compromise that might not fit your needs.