Home costs a factor in property division during divorce

Ending a marriage is an emotionally challenging process, but it is also tough financially. One of the biggest sources of financial conflict during a divorce proceeding is figuring out what to do with the family home. A few tips may help with navigating this aspect of the dissolution of a marriage in Massachusetts.

One option when it comes to the family home is to simply keep the house for oneself. However, this move can be costly due to maintenance costs on top of mortgage payments. Calculating whether one can handle these home-related costs independently following divorce is critical before choosing to keep the house.

Considering the costs of renting or buying another home — perhaps a smaller one — may also be helpful before deciding to keep the marital home. The higher-earning spouse may be tempted to think he or she can afford the family home, but this may not be true after factoring in child support or alimony payments. These payments might also affect the spouse’s credit and thus make him or her unable to quality for a home loan.

Divorce is tricky because it essentially involves untangling two financially intertwined individuals. However, the two spouses may be able to come to an agreement on how to handle the family home at the negotiation table, thereby avoiding further court intrusion. If not, a judge in Massachusetts will end up making this decision for the couple, and the outcome unfortunately might not be what either party or both parties would have wanted.

Source: cbsnews.com, “Divorce tips for financial security,” Jillian Harding, Nov. 13, 2017