Family, Criminal & Children's Court Attorneys Since 1991

How to decide whether to keep or sell your house during divorce

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Property Division |

A marital home often holds a deep emotional significance for couples. During divorce proceedings, deciding what to do with this shared asset can be overwhelming and confusing.

Should you keep the house and create a fresh start within its familiar walls, or sell it and move on with a clean slate? This decision requires careful consideration of both financial and emotional factors.

Financial considerations: Can you afford to stay?

It’s important to ask yourself if you can comfortably manage the mortgage (or a refinanced mortgage in your sole name), property taxes, utilities and maintenance costs on your own income. Don’t underestimate the ongoing financial burden of homeownership.

It would help if you also considered the family home’s current market value. Knowing how much equity you and your spouse have can help in decision-making. Remember, by keeping the house, you essentially agree to compensate your spouse for their share of the equity. This could involve a cash buyout, a trade of other assets or taking over a larger portion of the marital debt.

Emotional considerations: More than bricks and mortar

The house you shared with your spouse likely holds cherished memories. However, don’t let sentiment cloud your judgment. Nevertheless, if children are involved, it’s worth considering the disruption a move might cause, especially if it means changing schools or leaving their social circle behind. On the other hand, if the marital home has become a source of tension, a fresh start could benefit everyone.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to keep or sell your house is personal. By carefully considering the financial and emotional factors and seeking personalized legal feedback, you can approach this significant element of your divorce with greater clarity and confidence.