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Deciding who keeps the family home in a divorce

Key questions to ask yourself before making the decision

One of the most difficult decisions during a divorce can be deciding where you will live. Your home may be one that you have grown to love over time and you can’t imagine leaving.

But since you and your spouse have decided to call it quits the topic is sure to come up if it hasn’t already.

Do you leave the home with your ex-spouse and bring the kids?

Do you leave your kids at the home with your ex-spouse?

Do you sell the house?

By weighing all of your options you can start figuring out what works for your family before it’s in the divorce decree permanently.

Here are some options you may consider when deciding what happens to the family home in a divorce.

Separating sentiments for stability

Whether you have children or not the decision of what will happen to the family home can be emotional. Allowing the kids to continue living in the home and having one parent move out may help in easing the transition in family dynamics. Your children will be going through a lot of change and keeping them in the house may make it less overwhelming.

Selling the house entirely may mean that the kids will be in a different school district and lose their support systems. This could lead to them feeling stressed, anxious and fearful of the future.

While the home may have a sentimental value you’ll need to discuss these options with your ex-spouse to figure out which one of you would stay.

So who stays and who goes?

Typically the answer has less to do with sentimental value than it does with finances.

It’s time to talk money.

Emotions aside you will have to consider the financial implications of staying in the home.

Whoever leaves the home will have to pay moving costs. Whoever stays in the home will have to be financially stable so that they can afford to pay the mortgage if there is one. They’ll also need to be able to afford other expenses such mortgage, taxes and utilities on their own.

You and your ex-spouse may cherish the house equally but finances are likely to be the deciding factor.

In contrast it may be the case that neither of you can afford to stay on your own in which case you will need to discuss putting it on the market.

No matter what option you choose it’s important to remember that a parent can be just as involved in their kids’ lives even if they aren’t under the same roof.

There may not be a “right” answer on how you should decide who keeps the family home. By entertaining all possibilities – including selling the home and renting another – you may be able to find one that works for your family and helps keep in getting every member ready to embrace the living arrangements.

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