Keeping the House After Divorce: Is It the Best Move?

alone at the house

In many divorce cases, the ownership of the marital home is one of the significant issues that soon-to-be ex-spouses fight over. As the house is often considered the most valuable or the most significant asset that couples have, it is only understandable why some husbands and wives fight to keep the home or think that maintaining its ownership is the best choice.

Reasons for Keeping the Home

Divorce lawyers in Salt Lake City, Utah note that reasons for keeping the house can be either personal or financial. It can also be driven by emotions, especially if the home holds so many happy memories or if the owners put a lot of work into making it their dream home. Some other reasons for keeping it include the following:

1. Financial stability
2. For the sake of the kids (avoiding further emotional distress of forcing them to move or transfer to another city or schools)
3. Having little chance or finances to buy a new home
4. Purely because of its monetary value
5. Spite or greed
6. Vindication

If you too are going through a divorce and are thinking of keeping the house, it is easy to let your emotions affect your judgment and decision. Even if your reasons seem right or understandable, you still need to consider if keeping the marital home will support your best interests in the long run.

Is it the Best Financial Move?


The harsh realities of divorce, especially financial ones, can make it hard for you and your spouse to maintain the same lifestyle you had before calling it quits. While getting the house will keep you comfortable as well as avoid the challenges related to moving, you also have to consider that staying may not be the best financial move for you.

When deciding whether to keep the house or not, you need to make sure that you can afford it and all the related expenses. These include the remaining mortgage payments, insurance, real estate taxes, utilities, and maintenance of the home. The cost for these things should not exceed more than 1/3 of your income to avoid being house poor.

Consider Your Situation

Keeping the house can also be complicated, mainly if you’re only relying on alimony and child support to afford the house or most of the expenses. Support payments will have to end someday, and when that happens, you will need to make the payments on your own. Failure to do so may cause you to sell and lose the house.

If both of you want to keep the house and cannot decide who should get it, a buyout may occur. This refers to one spouse buying the 50% ownership interest of the other party to keep the house. You can consider a buyout if you want to keep the house, but if doing so may mean paying more than you would if you decide to sell the house, then keeping it not may be the best choice.

It is hard to leave the marital home, especially if you have become attached to it or have been living in it for years. Your reasons for keeping it may seem right at the moment, but it is best to consult a financial adviser or a divorce lawyer to help you make an informed decision.

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