Law Offices of James V. Sansone
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Keeping the house: What to consider before seeking your home

One of your major assets is your marital home, and you intend to keep it at all costs. However, before you make that determination, there are a few things you should look into.

For example, you own your property, but it's likely that it's not owned outright. You may have a mortgage to pay each month as well as utilities and other expenses. On top of that, there are taxes to consider. You will probably have to buy your spouse out of the home, too.

The first thing you have to ask yourself is if it's truly affordable to keep your home. There are times when it makes sense, like if you have enough equity to buy out your spouse or if you have other assets that you can give to them to keep your divorce equal. It may make sense if you've always been the one making mortgage payments and have a well-paid job.

Sometimes, though, keeping your home doesn't make sense. When there are no other significant assets or you can't afford the maintenance that comes with a property like yours, it might be better to let your spouse keep your home in exchange for cash or to sell the property and split the proceeds.

Isn't keeping the marital home valuable?

It all depends on the financial situation you're in. Yes, homes do typically increase in value over time, and that could mean that you're sitting on a gem that will be extremely valuable in the future compared to selling it now. However, if you will struggle to maintain the property and won't be able to pay your monthly mortgage, you could lose your home and all the potential proceeds that would come from its eventual sale. In that case, it would make more sense to sell the home now or to allow your spouse to buy you out of the property, so you have liquid assets to invest elsewhere.

Before your attorney can advise you on what you should do, they'll need to look at all your assets and their values. By looking at the different assets you have, your attorney will be able to give you a better idea of how keeping certain assets or letting others go will affect you financially. Once you know that, you can make a decision on keeping your marital home based on whether you feel it's a good financial decision for you.

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