Home is where the heart is, which may be why when a couple in Colorado decides to divorce, one of the most emotional decisions they must make is who will keep the family home. There are pluses and minuses to keeping the family home after a divorce, which should be taken into consideration before a final decision is made.
On one hand, there is a certain sense of security that comes with staying in the family home, especially since divorce is a time of upheaval. Especially if a spouse has primary custody of their children, they may wish to stay in the family home to provide a sense of stability and continuity for their children.
On the other hand, with homeownership comes other related costs. Taxes and insurance must be paid. The home must be maintained. If a spouse wishes to keep the family home, they should make sure they are prepared to absorb these costs.
Sometimes, a couple (or a judge) will decide that neither party will keep the family home. Instead, it will be sold. While sometimes this is the preferred choice, it is important to keep in mind that if the home is sold, both parties will need to find a place to rent in their desired area, and, in general, the rental home will not be as big as the family home was.
In the end, divorcing couples deciding what to do with the family home should consider a number of factors. They should look at what housing options there are in their desired area. They should also have a basic understanding of what their home's value is in today's real estate market. They should also consider whether they can afford the home once they are on their own. In addition, they should consider if it would be better for them to exchange their right to the family home for other marital assets.
Ultimately, while sometimes keeping the family home is the right decision for some, it should be a decision that is well-thought-out in a rational matter. There may be other, better options to consider when it comes to housing post-divorce. An attorney can help their client determine whether to pursue keeping the family home in their divorce.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Keep or Sell the Family Home During Divorce?," Nancy Kay, March 1, 2017
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