There are any number of decisions you will have to make during divorce, some of which can seriously impact your financial future. One of those decisions is whether to keep the marital home. You will have to weigh several different factors when trying to decide what is best for you.
One of those factors is the impact that selling the home will have on your children. Kids go through their own emotional processes when their parents divorce, and it can sometimes be in their best interests to stay put for a while. However, the benefits of keeping the kids in the family home need to be balanced out with your financial ability to do so.
Should I buy out my spouse?
There are usually two ways to deal with a house during divorce. You can either sell the property and then divide the profits with your ex, or one of you can buy out of the other’s share in the house. Since you want to remain in the home, you will need to prepare for the latter.
This means that you should have your house valued. When you have a professional appraiser provide the correct value of your home, you can avoid time consuming and costly arguments over how much your spouse’s share is actually worth. If he or she already had the house appraised, it is not a bad idea to hire your own appraiser to confirm the value.
Can I afford to stay in the house?
There are a lot of hidden costs that go into owning a home. In addition to the mortgage payment, you still have to pay for things like utilities, insurance maintenance and other ongoing costs. If you are relying on alimony and child support to address those costs, it is important to consider that these payments will end one day.
Even if you can afford these costs, you must also ask yourself whether keeping the home is a good investment. In general, buying real estate is a smart investment for your future, especially if you live in an area where the housing market is on the rise. But since life is unpredictable, it does not hurt to have an emergency fund that you can draw from if needed.
What should I do next?
It can be hard to say goodbye to your home, especially when you are already facing the end of your marriage. Your home also holds years of memories with your children. If keeping your home is important to you, then you must make it a priority during property division.
Property division can be a busy and confusing process, though. You will not only be dealing with large assets like the marital home, vehicles and debt but also smaller things like furniture and kitchenware. Dividing your attention among these different assets can be hard, so you should be sure to seek help during the process. An experienced attorney who is well versed in Alabama family law can usually provide invaluable guidance in this uncertain period of your life