Married couples invest a lot of their income each month toward mortgage payments and escrow account contributions. They may also set aside other funds for major projects, like a new roof or HVAC system. When couples that have invested in real property together decide to divorce, they often disagree about what to do with the property, simply because both spouses have so much at stake. Occasionally, spouses will choose to sell their home during divorce and share the funds from the transaction. Other times, one spouse will keep the home and may compensate the other for an appropriate amount of its equity.
What factors tend to influence the decision that spouses make about their marital home during property division negotiations?
Child custody arrangements
For those with minor children, the needs of the youngest members of their family may have a major influence on what they decide to do with the home. Having one parent stay in the marital home might mean that the children can stay at the same school and continue relying on the same support network. The parent who currently serves as the primary caregiver for the children might stay in the marital home as a way of keeping things stable for the children and minimizing the disruption-related hardships the children experience during the divorce.
Financial and physical ability
Sometimes, both spouses would like to keep the marital home, but only one has the credit score or income necessary to qualify for financing. Other times, both spouses may have adequate Financial resources, but only one of them is healthy enough or available enough based on their career demands to engage in maintenance of the property. Spouses may have to look carefully at finances and schedules, as well as their health, to decide how to address real property when they divorce.
For some people, strong relationships with their neighbors or proximity to a specific church might be why they want to keep the marital home. For others, it might be years of raising their children at the property that make it so valuable. Sometimes, one spouse will want to stay in the home because of those emotional attachments. Other times, one spouse may recognize that the home will only serve to remind them of the divorce and how their life has changed. Their emotional response to the property could therefore influence the goals that they set for the divorce. Those who are more pragmatic about their goals during divorce can improve their chances of achieving certain objectives.
Reviewing one’s family circumstances very carefully is often an important starting point for those who are negotiating property division matters during divorce and are particularly invested in what will happen to their marital home.