You may have heard the conventional wisdom that selling the house is the best move during a divorce. It's an easy, clean way to divide property. Even if you only make a little money on the sale, you can split that money up and you and your ex can move forward with your lives. This reduces your stress and gives you an uncomplicated solution.
However, while all of this may be true in many situations, there absolutely are times when you do not want to simply put your home on the market. Here are a few reasons not to sell:
1. You don't want the children to move
The kids love everything about your home. They enjoy the backyard pool, they like their neighbors, they like their rooms and they begrudgingly admit that they even like the school system. They do not want to move, and forcing them to do so can be jarring. If you keep the home, while the divorce still creates a lot of changes in their lives, they get one thing that feels safe and consistent.
2. You can buy your partner's half
The biggest reason to sell is that you can split up the asset, but there is another option: If your spouse has a right to half of that house, you can buy out their percentage. You'll also need to get a new mortgage that will not be in your name as a couple but in your name alone. You then pay your spouse the same amount they would have earned anyway, through a sale on the open market, and you don't have to sell.
3. You're going to lose money
If the market drops and your home is worth less than you owe, it's the worst time to sell. You're going to lose money. Selling just because you think it's easier means you're paying a lot for that convenience. In that case, you may want to work out a solution with your ex, such as agreeing to sell when the market rebounds.
Keeping the home?
If you do decide to keep the home, you have some options. Perhaps you buy your spouse out and live in the house with the kids. Maybe the two of you keep the home and decide to try bird-nesting, which is where the children stay in the home and your parenting time arrangement specifies that the parents move in and out. Maybe your spouse moves out and the kids split the time between your home -- their old home -- and your ex's new place.
It's all up to you. Just make sure you carefully consider all of your options, weighing the pros and cons, as you decide what path you want to take.