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Should you try to keep the family home in your divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Property Division |

Houses are generally the same, with a roof, floor and four walls. Yet, they evoke such strong emotions in us. For many of us, it’s where we started our family and watched our children grow. The rooms are filled with precious memories.

That is likely why it’s hard to determine what to do with the house when a couple divorces. They are caught between holding on to those memories and moving forward with a fresh start.

The pros and cons of keeping the house

Regarding the marital home, there are a couple of options. The couple can decide to sell the home and split the proceeds, or one party can buy out the other’s share of the house. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

The pros of keeping the home include:

  • It provides a sense of stability, especially if children are involved. It allows them to stay in the same school district, maintain friendships, and avoid a disruptive move during a traumatic time.
  • It could be a smart financial move. Currently, Grand Rapids is experiencing a competitive housing market, and the property may appreciate over time, providing a significant economic asset.
  • Keeping the house can provide emotional comfort during the upheaval of the divorce.

Still, while there are benefits to keeping the house, there are also some drawbacks, such as:

  • The cost of maintaining a home, including mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and repairs, can become a financial burden.
  • Keeping the home may include refinancing the mortgage to remove the other party’s name. The process may be challenging if your income has decreased due to the divorce.
  • While the house may hold fond family memories, it can also be a painful reminder of the marriage.

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to keep the marital home in a divorce. Discussing the situation with someone who can help you review your options and protect your interests may be best.