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Is it better to keep the home, buy a home or rent post-divorce?

One thing that most Leesburg couples going through a divorce can agree on is that they no longer want to live together. Determining where to live post-divorce is a big decision to make during an emotionally charged period in one’s life. It can help for divorcing spouses to take a step back and determine where they will live in a pragmatic matter.

One option is for one party to remain in the family home. This may be attractive to those who have a great emotional attachment to the home, especially if they have a child. However, homes inevitably need repairs and updates, which could be costly. Taxes, utilities and insurance must be paid. Moreover, the spouse staying in the family home may have to refinance the mortgage in their name only. If they do not have enough income, obtaining a new mortgage may be difficult.

Of course, a couple could decide that they will both retain ownership of the family home post-divorce. However, this means that they must be able to trust that their ex will pay their share in the homeownership costs. Also, it tethers the spouses together financially during a time where they may simply want to cut ties and move on.

Another option is to buy a new home. An advantage to this is that the spouse buying the home can select a house in an area and at a cost that meets their post-divorce needs. Of course, just like there are expenses relating to keeping the marital home, the same homeownership expenses are present when a person buys a new home. Moreover, a down payment and other costs relating to the purchase must be made.

Finally, spouses going through a divorce may want to consider renting a home. Going through a divorce is a huge life change. Because a spouse can rent a home temporarily, this gives them the time needed to make sound decisions regarding their living situation. In addition, when a person rents a home, maintenance and sometimes even utilities are paid for by the landlord, freeing up cash for the renter.

In the end, deciding where to live after a divorce is a very personal decision. A spouse must examine their needs, desires and finances in order to determine what choice is best for them. A family law attorney can be a helpful resource in situations like this.

Source: wtop.com “Deciding where to live during and after a divorce,” Dawn Doebler, Feb. 6, 2018

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