Are you thinking of trying to keep the house during your divorce? Is your top goal simply to keep some consistency in your life -- and the children's lives -- by making sure you get the family home?
If so, here are three key things that you need to consider:
1. What the current market looks like
In a weak market, a home can have a decreasing value, meaning it's probably not an asset you want. In a strong market, where it increases in price, the total value of your share of the estate can actually go up after the divorce, so the house is a great asset to have on your side. You need to consider both the current market and the projections for the future.
2. If you can afford the upkeep
Remember that the home costs more than just a mortgage payment. Even if that is affordable, you still have utilities, taxes, upkeep, maintenance and many other costs. Can you afford them on a single income?
3. Whether or not you get alimony
Alimony, or spousal support, can certainly help make the home more affordable. However, even if you get it, make sure you know exactly how those payments work. Do they taper down over time? Do they have a set end date? If so, while the house may look affordable on the day of your divorce, that affordability could fade in a few years.
As you can see, property division is complex and you really need to think about the long-term ramifications. Make sure you know what property division options you have.