Long Island Divorce: Should I Fight To Keep The House?

You may have an emotional connection with your home, however, deciding whether or not to keep it, requires a financial analysis of the pros and cons of keeping the home versus selling it.

The first thing to consider when deciding to fight for the house is whether or not you can handle the financial obligation by yourself. Keep in mind that keeping a house is more than just paying the mortgage. You will also have to pay the real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs and utilities associated with the house. In addition, most likely you will have to buy-out your spouse’s share of the house. This may require you to obtain a new mortgage.

Another factor in determining whether you should stay in the house: How long do you plan on staying in the home? Do you only need to stay a few years, for example, until the children graduate from high school? Or, do you plan on staying for a longer period of time? In either scenario, you need to make sure that you have enough funds to sustain the financial obligations of living in the home.

Although, typically you will need to buy-out your spouse’s share of the house, there are situations, where you can trade-off the value of the home for another asset. In many divorces, you can trade your share of retirement assets in exchange for the share of the value of the home. As an example, if the home is worth $500,000, and there is no mortgage, you would normally have to pay $250,000 to your spouse for his/her share of the home. However, if your spouse has a retirement asset (or other assets), that equal or exceed $500,000 in value, then you could waive your share of the retirement asset, provided your spouse waives his/her share of the house.

Yet, even when you can trade a retirement asset for exchange for a house’s value, you need to consider if this trade-off is worth it. By foregoing a retirement asset, you may not have enough money in retirement.

If you have questions regarding your home, property rights and your divorce, then contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  David Badanes has personally represented hundreds of clients in their divorce. Contact the Badanes Law Office’s at 631-239-1702, or email at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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