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Should You Fight to Keep Your House in a Divorce?

A couple divorcing

During a divorce, so much about the way you’ve been living may suddenly change. Your spouse has left the home, you may be seeing your children less, and you may even have lost the family pets. With so much changing at once, you may be reluctant to give up what was once your family’s home, and seek to hold onto the house in the division of property pursuant to your divorce. Discuss this choice with your attorney and consider the questions below to ensure that you make this decision based on your best interests, rather than solely based on emotion.

  1. What is the house’s true market value?

You may have put years of hard work, and thousands of dollars, into making your house a place you want to call home. However, if you allow your perception of its value to be colored too much by sentiment, you might make a bad deal in regards to the division of property by overvaluing the house. If you’ve been in the home for an extended period of time, there may be major repairs that need to happen prior to sale, which could become solely your obligation to pay for. If the housing market in your neighborhood has improved greatly since you purchased the home, it might be wisest for you to sell at the time of the divorce, to ensure that you can embark on your new life with a savings safety net.

  1. Will you be able to afford the payments?

While mortgage payments may have been easily affordable while you were married, your financial circumstances can change dramatically when you divorce. You may have added expenses of child or spousal support payments, or be forced to re-enter the job market after years of staying home with your children. Be sure to work through all the new expenses and reduced income you will have after the split in a budget before deciding to keep the home.

  1. Will you have the credit score necessary to refinance the mortgage?

If you and your spouse purchased the marital home together, you will likely need to refinance your mortgage to remove your spouse’s name if you retain the house. If you’ve been the dependent spouse, you may not have a recent work or credit history, or the income level necessary, to qualify for a mortgage at an affordable rate. Only hold onto a home you can comfortably afford, rather than starting your new life behind the 8-ball.

If you are in need of experienced and compassionate legal assistance with your Kentucky divorce or child custody dispute, contact Louisville family law firm John H. Ruby & associates for a consultation on your case, at 502-895-2626.