For many people in Alabama, buying a home is the biggest investment they will ever make. The idea of parting with that investment during divorce can be difficult for both emotional and financial reasons. However, the decision to keep a home should be rooted in whether it makes financial sense, and not whether someone is not yet ready to part with a house that still holds many good memories.
Consider the costs of homeownership
There are a lot of bonuses to owning a home. When one owns instead of rents, furnishing the interior of a home, painting walls and performing DIY renovations is generally all fair game. The downside is that homeowners shoulder all the costs associated with the home. When considering whether to keep the house after a divorce, consider some of the following costs:
- The mortgage
- Regular upkeep
There is also the issue of securing a new mortgage. If the spouse who wants to keep the home was not the primary earner, he or she may struggle to get a mortgage for the home. Some lenders will take things like child or spousal support into account and consider these as income, but this is often only after consistent payments for a period of at least two years. Even if one manages to get a mortgage in his or her own name, it might still be too much if it eats up most of the monthly budget.
There are many good reasons to stay in the marital home. Those who see it as an investment might want to hang onto it for a few more years, while parents may want to provide a sense of security and continuity for their children at an otherwise difficult time. None of these reasons should come at the expense of financial insecurity after a divorce, though. Those who are unsure of which decision is best may want to consider working closely with an attorney who is knowledgeable in Alabama family law.