During a divorce, especially if emotions are running high, it can be easy to want to fight to keep certain property.
For example, both spouses may feel strongly attached to the family home, especially if they have lived there for many years.
Usually, a couple’s residence will legally be marital property and thus subject to a fair division during a divorce. The details of how a Maryland court will fairly divide up a couple’s property are often sticking points and can get quite complex.
Sometimes, it is in a Montgomery County resident’s best interest to advocate for their keeping the family home.
However, before starting to formulate their legal strategy for doing so, they should make sure that keeping the residence is what is right for their circumstances.
A decision to make with care
Each spouse must decide for themselves what is in their best economic interest when it comes to the family home. Emotional considerations do play a part in this decision.
Likewise, if a family has minor children or even young adult children, they must think about how their decision affects their overall custody and family goals.
But economics also should play a part in a Marylander’s decision about whether they should try to hang on to the family home during a divorce.
- They should ask themselves whether, after the divorce, they will be able to afford the family home. They should keep in mind that a divorce may cost them their spouse’s income and will also leave them with fewer assets. On the other hand, the court could hold them responsible to pay the mortgage, insurance, property taxes and maintenance on the home.
- On a related point, they may need to be sure they have the necessary financial standing to get their spouse’s name off any mortgage against the house.
- Insisting on the family home may require a person to trade off other assets during their divorce to make sure the property division is fair. Depending on the circumstances, they may even have to make a cash payment to their spouse to equalize things.
- They need to consider what the re-sale value of the home will be in the future when they might want to sell or rent it.
- As part of their decision-making, a Montgomery County resident should ask whether they would want to or even need to move in the foreseeable future.
- They should also remember that neither they nor their spouses must keep the home. They could agree to sell it.