In contentious divorces, spouses often try to secure the most valuable assets for themselves. Some do this to protect their financial future, while others merely try to inflict as much pain on their spouse as possible. For many couples, the family home is their most valuable asset, but fighting for it might not be the smartest move.
Why you might want to negotiate away the family home
With all the stress that accompanies divorce and marital property division, you might be tempted to fight for the family home so that you don’t have to find a new place to live and so that you don’t lose the memories associated with the residence. But keeping the family home to yourself can be risky. Here’s why:
- You’ll be solely responsible for the mortgage even though your household income will be significantly reduced.
- You’ll have to cover costs related to maintenance and repairs, which can be difficult to do on your sole income.
- To secure the residence, you might have to give up other assets that have more significant long-term value, like retirement accounts.
In other words, retaining the family home through your divorce can be costly. Therefore, you might want to consider other options, such as using it as a bargaining chip to secure assets that are more advantageous to you or selling the home and splitting the proceeds with your spouse. Only you can make the decision that’s right for you but be sure to thoroughly assess your options and their impact before choosing your path.
Take charge of your financial future in your divorce
You need to focus on both your short-term and long-term needs in your divorce. Therefore, before entering the process, be sure know your options and what each one means for your future. Only then can you set yourself on a path to the future you want.