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Is it always worth it to fight for the family home in a divorce?

Home may be where the heart is, but when a person's heart is broken and they are facing divorce, the family home may be a hotly sought-after asset. However, before fighting to keep the family home, a person in California may want to keep the following points in mind.

First, a person must assess whether they can afford to keep the family home once the divorce is final. After all, the mortgage may need to be refinanced and then paid each month. Moreover, it costs money to maintain a home. When a person moves from a two-income household to earning a single income only, they may find that they simply cannot afford to keep the family home.

For this reason, sometimes both parties will come to the conclusion that they should sell the home and split the proceeds. However, they must also agree on when to sell the home. Sometimes they decide to keep the home for the time being, and sell it years on down the road. This may be the case if the couple has children that they would like to remain in the family home until they are on their own. So, one option is to have the custodial parent stay in the family home until the kids are grown, and then the parties will sell the home and split the proceeds.

Of course, if a couple decides to sell the home, there are some issues they will need to consider. First of all, they may need to make repairs to the home, which costs money. Also, when selling the home, a certain percentage of the proceeds of the sale will go to the real estate agent. There may be tax consequences as well if a person tries to sell the home after buying out their ex.

In the end, there is no right or wrong answer to "Should I keep the family home?" It is a highly personal decision. With so many factors to consider, it can help to seek the advice of an attorney who can provide an objective and realistic perspective on what may be a very emotional issue.

Source: U.S. News, "Divorcing? Should You Divorce Your Home, Too?," Geoff Williams, Oct. 11, 2017

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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