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Should I try to keep the house in my divorce?

Divorce can make it very difficult to see the forest for the trees, both emotionally and practically. Often, emotional attachments to certain pieces of property can compromise a person's ability to make wise decisions based on all the available information. This is often exceptionally true when it comes to keeping or selling a family home.

In many cases, the family home is the most significant asset in a divorce, but it is also a very complex asset that carries very serious risk. Before you give up a number of other assets in the divorce negotiation in order to keep your family home, consider all sides of the issue.

It is very common for a spouse to keep a marital home if he or she also receives primary custody of children in the divorce. This can work well in many instances, but not in every instance.

A home is very risky thing to own in many cases, especially if you do not have appropriate resources to maintain it. If you are a single parent trying to maintain the house on a single income when it used to take two incomes to keep all the plates spinning, your home may be one serious plumbing disaster away from being too much to handle.

Furthermore, if you cannot afford to pay the mortgage, it may be better to sell the home and seek something more controllable.

In many cases, it is simply very difficult to separate the emotional value of a home from the practical prospect of owning and maintaining it. It is wise to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney to help you examine the full scope of these issues before you make a final decision.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ," accessed July 14, 2017

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