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The Marital Home Post-Divorce: To Keep or Not to Keep

The Marital Home Post-Divorce: To Keep or Not to Keep

Many married couples, during the course of their marriage, purchase a home. Some purchase a home very quickly after they tie the knot because they’re excited to start their lives together. Others might wait until they have their first or second child – they need more space. Still others may wait until they are settled in their careers and feel it’s the next logical step in their quest to be a grown up. And some do so in an attempt to solidify the relationship they are beginning to question. Regardless of when or why you and your soon to be ex purchased the marital home, the question will end up being the same: should I keep it?

When considering whether or not to keep the marital home after divorce, the first factor is whether or not you have the opportunity. If you are in the process of settling out of court, waiting for the ruling of the court, or simply expecting a long, bitter battle over who gets what…you may want to hold off on the soul searching until you know you are going to be awarded the home and that you will be able to freely decide what you want to do with it. In some cases, one or the other of the spouses will be awarded the marital home free and clear (depending upon details of the case). Other cases will see the court ordering that the marital home be sold and the profit split between the two parties. Still others will see the court awarding one party the home with the requirement that they “buy out” the other spouse through a prearranged agreement of some sort.

If you are awarded the marital home once the division of marital assets is finalized, there are a few factors to consider before making any final decisions. First, is your budget. Can you afford to keep the marital home or was there a second income during your marriage that the costs of the household depended upon? Consider the cost of the mortgage payment (if any) as well as the cost for services related to the home maintenance (pest control, weed control, landscaping, house cleaning, duct cleaning, utilities, water, etc.) If the budget isn’t a problem, the next question is if that’s where you want to spend your money. Maybe you can afford to keep the home, but you would really rather have extra money each month or spend your money on something else. Lastly, consider any emotional attachments you may have to the home. What memories do you have attached to the home? Are they mostly positive or negative? How will this affect you as you get settled post-divorce? If you feel that the home will be a negative reminder that could hold you back you might want to consider selling it and starting over in a new spot.

Whether or not you should keep the marital home after divorce is a very personal question. For some, keeping the home is the best answer, but for others, selling it and never looking back will be the only way to move forward. Be honest with yourself and do what is best in your situation.

If you have questions regarding the division of marital assets or other Arizona divorce issues, please get in touch with one of the divorce lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys as soon as possible so we can assist you.

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