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Choices about where to live after divorce

Maryland couples who are getting a divorce and who own a home must make a choice as to whether they will sell or keep it. Keeping the home may allow a person to retain a sense of stability, but it can also be expensive. People who make this choice should be sure they can afford not only the mortgage but the cost of maintenance, taxes and insurance. They must also be able to qualify for a mortgage. A couple can continue owning the home jointly, but this leaves a person with financial ties to an ex-spouse.

Selling the home and buying a new one may allow a person to move to a place that is more affordable on a single income, but there are a number of up-front costs associated with this. Qualifying for a mortgage may still be a challenge on a single income as well.

Renting for a few years may not be a bad option in many cases. For people who have teenage children that they want to keep in the same school system, renting might allow them to stay in an area where they could not afford to buy. Renting also means a person does not have to make a major commitment during or just after a divorce.

If one person decides to keep the home while the other takes a different asset, such as a retirement account, it is important to make sure that the assets really are of roughly equal value. This means not just looking at the worth of each asset but taking into account whether any costs or taxes are associated with the assets. Another consideration might be how liquid the asset is.