Divorce is stressful. It can be emotionally draining, but the financial stakes involved can be enormous, too. While you might want to simply take any kind of settlement you can get to move past the matter, you actually need to put a lot of thought into your property division. By doing so, you can better set the financial stage for you life post-divorce. This requires you to try to set your emotions aside and focus on what is financially reasonable moving forward. This can be a difficult endeavor, but hopefully you can have a legal ally by your side to help you out.
This week, let’s briefly look at the family home. This can be a hard fought over asset, especially if there is emotional attachment to it. But fighting to keep the residence might not be in your financial interests. If you keep the home, you’ll be solely responsible for the mortgage and any maintenance. Many people find this difficult when they’ve lost their spouse’s income. So, taking the family home could leave you struggling to make ends meet shortly after divorce, especially if you’ve bought out your spouse or given up other assets in exchange for the residence.
So what should you do? Consider your finances in light of your “need” to keep. You might very well find that you can and do want to make it work. But it’s also likely that you’d be better off fighting for retirement accounts and/or selling the home to take your fair share of the proceeds. You might also be able to continue to jointly own the home with your ex-spouse, which would allow you to continue to split costs and build equity, but many people find this option to be too complicated.
What’s important to realize is that there are a number of creative ways to make the property division process work for you. The key is having a realistic understanding of what you need, what you want, and what you’re willing to give up. This can be difficult to identify when you’re in the emotional throes of divorce, but a skilled family law attorney might be able to help put you on the path to financial stability as you start the next chapter of your life.