Deciding to Keep or Sell during a Divorce

The key to making any difficult decision is having all of the information to make a well informed choice. During a divorce, both parties are faced with many difficult choices and in some cases they must come to a mutual decision. This is exactly what they must overcome when trying to choose to keep or sell the family home. Sometimes, finances dictate that the house must be sold because neither spouse can afford to keep it. And sometimes neither spouse wants to keep the house so it is sold. But if neither of these more simple solutions is mutually amicable, then there are a few questions that can help to sort out what will happen to the house.

First, what are the housing options in the area? This is a broad question but meant to key in on factors such as the rental properties that might be in the same area and would serve the same schools. It also includes the price factor. Will there be other living arrangements that can be made in the area that are financially doable?

Second, what is the current market value of the house? This is very important if you have little or no equity in the house. It might not be either spouses’ choice to stay in the house but if the current mortgage is more than the current market value then selling the house will create a financial burden for both parties.

Third, Can one spouse afford to live in the house with a single income? Many times, it is not an option to be able to pay a mortgage, insurance, utilities and other maintenance costs with a single income. If there are children involved, there might be an agreement that the parents can come to which would allow one parent and the children to remain in the house. But this is not always the case and many times the house is sold when no mutual agreement can be achieved.

Next, are there other assets that you could exchange for your share of the house? Especially when children are involved, it is a goal to keep the house with one of the spouses. By exchanging other assets, it can make it easier for a single spouse to afford to keep the house because they do not have to buy out a partner. It can be better for children to stay in a familiar home and makes the separation less difficult for them and by extension the parents.

Consider the benefit of a complete and fast division of all aspects of your married life. If you have no children, then you can work to achieve a clean and fast break from your ex-spouse. This might be the easiest way to begin to rebuild your life. Sharing in the ownership of your family home could make it very difficult to focus on your new start. If children are involved, having no other contact or reason to be tethered financially might be the best solution. You can both begin a new life and know that your only work together will be in raising your children. Answering these few questions might make it easier to decide it you should sell or keep your Phoenix home after a divorce.

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