Keeping the house post-divorce isn't always a win

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Divorce on Friday, March 1, 2013.

People who are ending their marriage in Maryland have plenty to think about already, not the least of which is planning for the future financially and taking care of necessities. Among the most important necessities is, of course, keeping a roof over one's head. However, for some divorcing spouses, keeping the home from the marriage isn't always the best solution.

After a divorce, there are plenty of new expenses to consider. This is why keeping the house and the accompanying mortgage payment might not make the most sense for some people. Yes, there may be emotional attachments and convenience-related issues that make keeping the house seem like a no-brainer. However, it really comes down to dollars and cents.

The house is one thing that is factored into property division. However, it is also more risky than many other tangible assets that are often sought in a property division dispute. As the last decade has shown, property values can be extremely volatile. Divorcees who are stuck in an underwater mortgage, owing more than what the house is worth, may have found that winning the house in a divorce settlement was more of a curse than blessing.

Before going headlong into a divorce settlement to obtain the house, people need to consider their overall financial status. Things like a monthly mortgage payment, insurance, taxes and the inevitable repairs and maintenance all need to be considered. If it creates an uncomfortable financial squeeze or requires that a person negotiate for less alimony or a smaller chunk of more stable assets such as retirement accounts, then it just might not be worth it.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Keeping The House After Divorce," Kathleen B. Connell, Feb. 20, 2013