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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Divorce, property division and keeping the marital home

One of the first questions that some people hear when they speak of their divorce is, "Who gets the house?" It's often one of the first questions the divorcing couples will have, too.

The marital home, especially if the couple has children, can have a lot of sentimental value. Unfortunately, sentimental value doesn't always equal dollars and cents. Before you decide to fight for the marital home in a divorce, you should consider the following questions:

Can you refinance it?

Getting your spouse's name off the home can be difficult, especially in today's difficult real estate lending market. Will you have enough income to qualify for refinancing the home on you own?

Can you afford the upkeep of the home?

Owning a home is expensive, especially when you consider upkeep and repairs. In addition, the home's furnishings may have been split during the property division phase of the divorce. New furnishings will be needed. Perhaps your kids are getting ready to leave the home, too, as they head off to tackle the world. A home with several bedrooms and one occupant may not be the right thing to do.

How is the real estate market in your area?

The housing market is bouncing back after the recession of 2008. It's possible you may be able to sell the home and split the profits. This could give you the nest egg you need to make another home purchase that now suits your needs better.

What about taxes?

Certain taxes, including capital gains taxes, can really wreck havoc on the finances, especially if you're not prepared. Understanding all of the tax implications of keeping the marital home is a must before making your decision.

Divorce has many issues that must be dealt with, even if there aren't children involved. An experienced Texas divorce attorney can provide more information on whether keeping the marital home is truly in your best interests.

Source: Forbes, "Four Questions To Consider Before Deciding To Keep Your Marital Home" Jeff Landers, Feb. 17, 2015

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