Deciding whether to keep the family home or sell it during divorce can be a tough decision to make, both emotionally and financially. There are pros and cons to both situations and what makes the most sense is dependent on a person’s unique circumstances.
For example, while a wife may desperately want to hold on to the family home — especially if children are living there — this financially may not make the sense. While there is the emotional pull to stay and want to keep everything as stable as possible for the children, financially it may just not be possible.
To try to figure out what makes the most sense, you will need to ask yourself some tough questions, which will include:
- Can you afford the house? After the divorce, your financial situation will most likely change. For example, instead of two incomes, you will now have one. This means one income needs to cover not only the mortgage, but also utilities, home repairs and maintenance — to name only a few. While there may be a great desire to stay in the home, know that owning the home and running a household on one income may just not be possible.
- Does keeping the home make sense in the long-term? There are a few things to think about here, both what the current market value of the home is — if you were to sell — but also what it could mean if you sell later on. Keeping the family home is an asset, which means that you will most likely need to exchange other joint assets with your spouse in the divorce. However, if you decided to sell years later, a capital gains tax bill could end up on your plate.
- What other options are available? While it may be tempting to want to stay in the house, really think about all the housing options that are available. How much would it cost to rent something similar? Are there other properties that are more affordable in the same area? Would rental costs end up being the same as mortgage costs, when you factor in tax deductions? Could you honestly deal with the stress of living in the same home that you once lived in with your spouse? These are all some of the questions you should be asking yourself when trying to weigh the pros and cons to keeping or selling the family home.
As with other aspects of divorce, an attorney can explain how property division in Florida works given your specific situation. This attorney will also act as an advocate on your side as you navigate through the divorce process.