While your house might be your most valuable asset, the sum total of other assets could equal or surpass it. Property division in a divorce is about dividing all your assets, not just one, so don’t get fixated on retaining the house at the cost of losing out overall.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to make the best decision:
How far through your mortgage term are you?
The family home holds much more financial value if you only have a year to go until you’ve paid off the mortgage than if you still have another 24 years to go. Looking at your mortgage and the equity you’ve built can help you make a more informed choice about what to do next.
Can you afford to run and maintain the home on your income?
Moving to one income from two will make paying the mortgage and other bills more challenging. If you cannot keep up with the mortgage, that could lead to the kind of financial strain that could eventually result in foreclosure.
Failing to keep up with maintenance, such as roof repairs will mean the house loses value – and possibly cause insurance issues. Failing to keep up with the regular bills will harm your credit score and make life difficult if your utility providers cut their services.
You have to have a clear idea of your post-divorce budget in order to decide if keeping the family home is even a possibility.
Will you be wasting money and time doing so?
Let’s say you have a five-bedroom property with half an acre of lawn. Now that your kids have left home, it would only be you living there after the divorce. Do you really want to spend your life dusting and mowing, or pay someone to do these things when you could reduce your workload, save money and make use of your equity by downsizing?
Getting help to learn more about the property division process can help you decide whether fighting for the house is a wise move in your divorce or not.