A big issue in divorce proceedings is what to do about the marital home. Is it to be sold or does a spouse buy out the other one? Would one spouse be able to handle the upkeep, taxes, and mortgage? A factor to consider is if the mortgage is already paid or will be by the time alimony has run its course. I have seen several women post-divorce who got the marital home and are living paycheck to paycheck. They are barely keeping their heads above water financially. Consider hiring your own financial advisor to see if buying your spouse out of his share is really feasible.
Keep in mind that two 100K assets are not equal. An investment or money market account accrues interest and a house requires an outlay of money for expenses. That said, a house can appreciate in value or be in such a lovely setting, that ever selling it would be out of the question. Two divorced women said the only way that they would permanently leave their beautiful houses would be by hearse. If you are on the fence about what to do regarding the marital home in your divorce, consult with a real estate agent regarding projected future trends in the housing market. You would have an idea if the property values are going down or up.
If your children and pets are happily residing in the marital home then it may be the better choice to hang on to it. If you like your neighbors and the amenities of your neighborhood, then that is another reason to stay put. When you are in a great public school location, you may not be able to find a home in the same district. It is not guaranteed that your kids could get an inner zone transfer to come back to their school the following year, if moving across town. It can make a difference if they move across the city from their friends and activities. I meet girlfriends at two coffee shops nearby, sometimes at the spur of the moment. Moving out and farther away could curtail these impromptu get-togethers.
When I was in my unhappy marriage, our house was too small. After my husband moved out, my sons and I were surprised at how vast our house seemed. They told me that when their father came home, we scattered to our separate areas, so required the space. With only ourselves, we were rattling around in what felt like a mausoleum. Our house had an oppressing energy that became more intense, so we could not wait to escape. When my sons and I moved back to our old neighborhood next door to my mother, we felt like our smaller home was a sanctuary. My sons and I occasionally have dreams about our old house, which takes on a nightmarish quality. If you are in your house after your spouse departs, you may feel either a good energy or one that compels you to leave. Listen to your intuition.
If truly stuck on the issue of whether to sell the marital home and split the money, or have one buy the other one out, consider talking this over with a professional. A life coach can help you list the pros and cons to each outcome and come to a decision. Your friends may be able to help you see pitfalls that you missed. Clergy, trusted co-worker, or others who have trod the path of divorce before you, can impart their wisdom. Clear your mind, get centered and possibly quiet the chatter in your mind with meditation and or prayer. Making a decision in a panic can cause regrets down the road.
Should you stay in your marital home?
[…] Otherwise, you’re setting yourself for a major struggle that could leave you in financial ruin if you keep the house. […]