You and your spouse may each have valid reasons to want to keep the family home when you divorce. Yet that will not be possible unless you can agree to share ownership.
Most couples will not get on well enough post-divorce for sharing to be a good idea. So you need to come to an agreement or accept a court’s decision about who keeps the house.
Why might you want to keep the family home when your marriage ends?
Before you get too involved in a battle over the property, take a look at your reasons for wanting to keep it. You may need some impartial advice, as homes can be emotional things. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Can you afford to pay the mortgage? Unless you have paid off your mortgage, this will be a significant expense for years to come.
- Can you afford the upkeep? The larger your home, the more it will cost to run and maintain. Even the cost of having someone clean the pool and the nine guest bedrooms can soon add up.
- Is the home a good investment? You may want to keep the house and sell it for a profit in a few years because you spotted the area on the up. If, however, the area is in decline or the building needs significant repair, it may be better to let it go now.
- Do you have valid personal reasons? Friendly neighbors, a bountiful vegetable garden or an ideal location can all be hard to replicate. Yet, it is not impossible.
- Will you still enjoy living there? Large homes can feel empty once the children have left home. Divorce can also rupture your social calendar, so you may have less cause to use the fire pit and other social areas.
Perhaps the most crucial question of all is what will you cede in return for keeping the home, or what could you gain by letting your spouse keep it. When courts divide property in a divorce, they look at the overall total. The house is only one item in the sum of assets you need to split equitably.