When getting divorced, the family home is usually one of the largest assets to be divided. But when it comes to divorce and property, the family home often represents far more than a mere line item on a financial spreadsheet. Concerns such as emotional attachment, a lifetime of memories, convenience, comfort, and your children’s stability are generally taken into consideration.
Careful divorce planning can help mitigate the stress that accompanies determining what to do with the family home.
Start by finding out the current value of the home. You can do this by paying a property appraiser for a full appraisal or you can get a rough idea by consulting with a Realtor. Always remember to evaluate the tax issues involved as well. There can be many factors that go into valuing the home for tax purposes, especially if you have been married for many years and have owned other residences.
In considering your decision, begin by looking at the monthly costs involved and see if you can afford to stay or if it would be wiser to move into another property that better fits your budget.
Remember that you will need to add the total costs of the mortgage, taxes, insurance, homeowner’s dues and maintenance when doing your calculations. Don’t forget to factor in the major repair costs that may come up and regular maintenance that may be necessary to keep things functioning properly. Forgetting to factor in these types of expenses can be costly mistakes in the long run.
And remember, unlike some other assets that produce income that you can withdraw from the bank, your family home will not produce income that helps you buy the groceries.
Since the home is an emotional asset, many times one spouse will give up other – sometimes better – assets in order to keep the home without considering the true costs associated with keeping it. Unfortunately, that could lead to foreclosure if the spouse is no longer able to afford maintaining it after the divorce.
Successful divorce planning requires taking an organized and proactive approach to handling your divorce and property division. If you are getting divorced, careful research and support from knowledgeable professionals can help you understand your options and help you avoid typical problems that arise when dividing the family home.