MISCONCEPTION: It’s better to get the marital home in the divorce.
FACT: Not necessarily. The following list is presented for your consideration as to why it may not be best in your situation to fight to keep the marital home post-divorce:
- You have reviewed your post-divorce budget and realize that the mortgage, taxes, and insurance on the marital home is more than you can afford paying on your own. It’s best not to be house poor after a divorce. You need to allow yourself time to get used to being single and supporting yourself on one income. And, planning for a post-divorce budget is always speculative…you won’t know your true budget until you are actually living on your own.
- THE REAL COST OF HOME OWNERSHIP
- There is a lot more to the cost of owning a home than just a mortgage payment. Or even just basic house maintenance and making repairs. Some basic expenses required to operate a home may include annual property taxes, fees/dues, landscaping, snow removal, hazard insurance, utilities (water, sewer, gas, electric, propane), mortgage insurance, and internet/cable.
- All homes require maintenance. You need to carefully consider if you are able to afford to pay for a professional to perform any maintenance/repairs that are necessary, or if you are you able to do the work on your own. And how much money should you allocate each month for maintenance. According to US News and Freddie Mac, homebuyers should actually budget up to 4% of the property’s value in annual maintenance costs. Now add that onto your mortgage, taxes, and insurance and ask yourself if the total places you in or out of your financial comfort zone. Once again, it’s important to carefully review your post-divorce budget and determine if you are able to maintain the marital home on your income.
- DOES THE HOME MEET YOUR NEEDS POST-DIVORCE
- It may be that your marital home will not meet your needs after you are divorced. Perhaps it is too large. Or, it may be that you have retuned back to work and the marital home is not ideally located near your employment. Additionally, there may be too many emotions and bad memories tied to your marital home for you to happily remain. It just may be time to move on and start new with a home that is your very own. The decision to keep the marital home post-divorce is significant. If it is time to move on, create your new post-divorce budget. This will allow you to select a better home you can afford, saving time in your home search, and getting a house that you’ll love and enjoy, versus it being a stressful financial burden.
GRAND RAPIDS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY SERVING KENT, OTTAWA, AND ALLEGAN COUNTY.
Divorce can be emotional and messy, and it’s natural for anyone going through a divorce to want to protect their financial interests. Maintaining an objective view of the situation can be difficult when you are struggling with complex emotional issues and personal tensions in your divorce. As an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer, Schmitt Law, PLLC can help you maintain control over your property in divorce, and provide detailed guidance and support throughout every step of the process. The right attorney can increase the likelihood of you securing a favorable outcome to property division in your divorce.
Laurie Schmitt of Schmitt Law, PLLC has years of experience representing clients in a wide range of difficult divorce cases. We understand the financial concerns our clients often have regarding their property ownership rights and the doubts they often experience when it comes to property division in divorce. If you are seeking a divorce, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Contact Schmitt Law, PLLC online or by calling (616) 608-4634 for a consultation today.