The stay-at-home parent traditionally keeps the home and continues to raise the children after a divorce. However, this is rapidly changing. Changes to social norms and court treatment of alimony may prompt you to question whether you should keep the home or allow your spouse to? Would selling it serve your interests better?
Parents often feel more comfortable keeping the home to ease the transition process for children. However, children generally feel more concerned about the relationship with parents than the home they reside in.
What are the options?
When it comes to whether to sell or keep the home, you have four main options to consider. According to NerdWallet, the first involves selling the home and splitting the profit as marital proceeds. Another option involves refinancing the mortgage so that you or your spouse keeps the home independently.
If the spouse who wants the home cannot qualify for a mortgage, a third option involves the breadwinner paying the mortgage. Finally, you may keep the house and share the expense for the sake of the children. In this arrangement, you generally sell the home once the children leave the nest.
What are the pros and cons of keeping the house?
The main pro of keeping the home is reducing how many changes you need to make after a divorce. You may also find it easier to ensure the children remain in the same school district. Keeping the home may also help one spouse to hold on to more cash or other assets in the divorce process.
Unfortunately, keeping the home may create friction between exes, especially when conflicts arise over utilities and upkeep. It may also cost more in comparison to downsizing to an apartment or a smaller home.
No one-size-fits-all answer exists for whether to keep the house. However, most finance gurus seem to recommend downsizing after a divorce, even if you have children.