Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

I'm getting divorced: should I try to keep my house?

While going through a California divorce, it is important to keep a cool head and take stock of what possessions and assets you should try to salvage from the end of your marriage. You might want to hold on to your home, perhaps for sentimental value or just because you think you are more deserving of it than your ex. However, retaining your house might actually be counterproductive for a number of reasons.

Although keeping your house spares yourself from further change resulting from your divorce, CNBC points out you now have to shoulder all of the costs of keeping up your house. Divorces often separate two spouses that contribute to their home with their income streams. If your income is not strong enough, you might not be able to manage the expenses of upkeep and could throw yourself into debt, and that is not counting your tax obligations and possible mortgage payments.

Sometimes your spouse may offer you the house in exchange for assets that equal the value of the house. For example, you might end up with the home and your ex will receive a retirement plan that is worth an identical amount. While it might seem like a fair trade, once again remember that you still have to keep up the home and pay all the utility bills and taxes, so you could end up paying out more in the long run.

To evaluate whether keeping your home is a sound move, you have to assess how much earning power you will have after the divorce and also how many assets you will have left to see if you can plausibly maintain the house. Additionally, if you have children, child support payments will further drain your finances. You might also find that your other spouse is better financially equipped to handle the house than you are, and that it is more beneficial for your ex to have the house than for neither of you to end up with it.

Be aware that this article does not provide any legal advice. It is written to educate readers on California divorce topics.

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