Divorce means a lot of big changes for you and your children. If you are like most parents in Maryland, you want to make the divorce as easy on your kids as possible. Minimizing how much disruption they experience will be a big part of that strategy.
Needing to move into a new home or switch to a new school can compound the existing emotional trauma kids may experience from their parents divorcing. Trying to keep the children in the marital home can let them stay in the same space where they feel stability and remain enrolled at the same schools.
Can you and the kids stay in the family home during and after your divorce? There are two key questions to consider in order to answer this question.
Does your ex understand your perspective?
If the goal in your divorce is to keep things calm and balanced for the children, then you and your ex will probably try to minimize how much you fight. If you can negotiate a settlement outside of court, your preferred living arrangements, custody solutions or property division terms may be possible to agree to amicably.
Provided that your ex understands why it’s important for the children to stay in the house and they agree that you being there full time would be the best option, you may be able to negotiate a settlement directly with your ex that allows you to stay in the home with the kids.
Can you afford the house?
A big concern when negotiating a divorce settlement with your ex will likely be the practicality of your proposed solution. Do you have your own source of income so that you can afford payments on the house?
Remember that you will likely need to refinance and pay your ex some of the equity in the property. Realistically, you may not be able to afford the home on your own after the divorce. However, in some cases spousal support and child support could bolster your financial situation to make this feasible.
Creative solutions are possible when you try to settle outside of court. If you do litigate, the judge will be the one who ultimately decides what happens to your home and the custody of your children.