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Can I keep the family home after divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2020 | Firm News |

A house is often so much more than just a place to sleep. Mississippi families spend years creating priceless memories, transforming the average house into a family home. It can be hard to say goodbye to a place that holds such precious memories and emotional importance, but that is the exact situation that many women face during divorce.

Although societal expectations are shifting, it is still fairly common for husbands to earn more than their wives. In the past this made it very difficult for some women to hold on to the family home after divorce. That is no longer the case now that lower interest rates are making it more affordable. Of course interest rates are only part of the equation, so you should consider a number of other factors when deciding whether you want to keep your marital home after divorce.

How much is your home worth?

Your home might be invaluable to you, but you cannot ignore that it has a market value. You will need to know just how much your home is worth if you plan to buy out your ex of his share of the house. The best approach is to have your home properly valued by a professional real estate appraiser.

Having an accurate appraisal will also help you decide whether you can secure a mortgage on your own. If you earned less than your ex or maybe did not work at all, you might be understandably worried about getting a mortgage. A lender might be hesitant to work with a borrower whose sole income is made up of child support and alimony payments. The good news is that some companies offer niche loans for borrowers in this exact situation.

What are your other monthly expenses?

Owning a home involves a lot more than just paying your monthly mortgage. There are a number of different monthly, annual and other regular costs that can easily eat up your monthly budget. These include:

  • Maintenance costs
  • Utilities
  • Real estate taxes
  • Homeowners’ insurance

Even if you can make the monthly mortgage and these additional expenses work, you might still want to ask yourself this — Is buying the home a good investment? While it might not seem like it, purchasing real estate — even a residential house — is a type of investment. If you already have a sizable emergency fund, reasonable retirement savings and have paid off a good portion of your debt, then it might just be a good investment. If not, you may want to consider whether waiting is most appropriate.

Are you ready for this commitment?

You should think about the size of your home. It may have been perfect for your family before the divorce, but now it might be a bit too big — especially when your children are spending time with your ex. Depending on the size of your home or you level of dedication, this might not be an issue.

Divorce changes a lot of things, and it is understandable that you may not want to change your place of residence on top of everything else. Staying in the family home can also provide your children with a much needed sense of security. Working out the logistics of staying is not easy though, especially since there is a lot of money on the line. Do not take this task on alone. You may want to consider working closely with an experienced attorney who has your best interests in mind.