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Should I keep my marital home after divorce?

| Jan 13, 2021 | Divorce |

Buying a home is an emotional investment. If the time comes to sell, stepping away from the memories you built there can be difficult, especially if you are already dealing with the end of something else — your marriage. Keeping the marital home might be important to you then, so here is what you need to know.

You need to be sure that you can both afford to keep the house and that doing so is a wise investment. This means you need to take a good, hard look at your finances. You should also consider other financial information, like your retirement savings.

What is my house worth?

Before you decide that keeping the house is the right decision, you need to know how much it is worth. The best way to figure this out is to have a professional real estate appraiser correctly appraise your home. This will help you determine if you can afford the mortgage, and as a bonus, it will minimize any arguing over how much the house is actually worth.

The mortgage is not your only monthly cost associated with owning a home, though. You should also consider what your monthly utilities run. Other costs that factor into this decision include maintenance and upkeep, Tennessee taxes, and insurance.

What about getting a mortgage?

If you were the breadwinner of your marriage or have a decent paying job, then you might not have a problem getting a new mortgage in just your name. Things get a little more complicated if you did not work or if you earn significantly less, as lenders are sometimes hesitant to work with someone whose primary income is based on child support on alimony. The alternative is to seek out lenders who offer specialty mortgages for someone in your situation.

Of course, you will have other expenses to worry about besides your housing costs. Unexpected financial problems can arise at any time too. Take stock of where you are financially, including how much you have in retirement savings and if you have a sufficiently funded emergency fund.

Do I actually want this?

You bought your home for a reason, and you then spent years building memories and creating attachments. It is understandable that your first thought is to keep the home you love. But you may also want to consider whether there are better housing opportunities for you and if this is what you really want.

If keeping the marital home is the right thing for you, then you need to be ready to address this with your soon-to-be ex. If he or she does not want the house then you are in a good position, but things might get more complicated if you are both interested. A knowledgeable attorney could be able to provide invaluable guidance through this process, so do not hesitate to reach out for help.