Fabio & Merrill

Keeping the house after a divorce may not be the right move

The divorce process is largely made up of decisions and negotiations. And this is especially true when it comes to property division. First, you must decide how you feel certain assets should be allocated and then you have to negotiate your way to acceptable terms regarding the allocation. Monetary items, such as cash and investment funds, will likely be divided while each party will take specific physical items, such as cars, furniture and personal belongings.

But there is one physical item which requires special consideration; the house. If you and your spouse are homeowners, you have three basic options. First, you could sell the house and split the profits. Second, one of you can keep the house and financially compensate the other party. Or you could even find a way to keep and share the house.

Typically in a divorce, the house will either be sold or kept by one of the spouses. And perhaps you are leaning toward taking full possession of the house yourself. But if you do this, there are some very important things to consider. First, can you actually afford to pay the mortgage by yourself? Also, do you fully understand the possible tax implications of keeping the house?

While you may love your house dearly, you don't want to become overwhelmed by the many expenses that home ownership brings. An experienced property division attorney can help you assess whether keeping your home is a good idea. Once you have made a decision on how you want to handle the house and other property, the attorney can act as your representative in the settlement negotiation process.

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