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Which Spouse, If Any, Keeps the Marital Home?


As many times as your divorce lawyer may tell you that divorce is not about winning or losing, the marital home can easily feel like a battleground, even if you and your spouse do not resort to childish pranks to antagonize each other like Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston’s characters in The Breakup.  Divorce cases where the judge decides which spouse resides in the marital home after the divorce becomes final are only the worst-case scenario.  In most families, especially those with minor children, it is obvious to both spouses which one should keep the marital home.  The financial consequences of this apparently easy decision are where things get uncomfortable, though.  Paying a mortgage on a single income is financially burdensome, as is walking away from the biggest investment you have ever made.  For that matter, so is selling the house; the fact that you end up with some cash is cold comfort compared to all the effort that goes into a real estate sale.  For help strategizing about rebuilding your finances after keeping, surrendering, or selling your marital home during divorce, contact a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

You Might Feel Broke If the Court Awards You the Marital Home

If you are the spouse that keeps the marital home, the fact that you do not have to move to a new residence in the middle of your divorce is a relief.  Even though so much in your life is chaos, at least the house you share with your children is familiar.  Unless the mortgage is solely in your name, the court will probably order you to refinance, or else your obligation to refinance will be a provision of your mediation agreement.  Once you refinance, you may be unpleasantly surprised at how much of your paycheck goes toward your mortgage when you are paying for it on a single income.  For some couples, it makes sense for the spouse that keeps the house to refinance the mortgage in his or her own name and the other spouse to pay alimony to contribute to the mortgage payments.

You Might Also Feel Broke If the Court Awards the Marital Home to Your Ex

With or without a refinance, the spouse who vacates the marital home is usually entitled to a cash sum equal to his or her share of equity in the house.  There is room for disagreement about how much is your fair share, and if the court orders you to pay alimony, you might feel shortchanged.

No One Wins If You Sell the Marital Home, Except the New Buyer

In some cases, neither spouse can afford to keep the marital home, or both would rather have the cash.  When this happens, the couple sells the marital home, under the court’s supervision.  This can be a conflict-ridden process, but in the end, both spouses emerge with some money.

Contact Schwartz | White About Your Marital Home After Divorce

A South Florida family law attorney can help you arrive at a reasonable decision about keeping or selling your marital home.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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