13 May 2014
Buying a house is an exciting step in the lives of many married couples. However, owning a family home can present numerous complications if a couple decides to file for divorce. Many questions may arise regarding who gets to live in the house, how they will pay for it, whether the house will be sold, and more.
One reason why one spouse may want to keep the family home rather than put it on the market is for minor children. First, children may be emotionally attached to the home. Additionally, you likely want to the divorce to have as little of a negative effect on children as possible. Therefore, you probably do not want to uproot them, move them out of their neighborhood, or even cause them to switch schools. If you are going to have primary custody of the children, you likely want to keep them in their home.
However, keeping the house is not always the best option, even if you have children. Your mortgage was likely approved based on the income of both you and your spouse, and you probably both contributed to the monthly payments. Even if you are set to receive child or spousal support, you may have trouble paying the mortgage payments on your own. As you probably know, owning a home is expensive and includes covering the mortgage, utilities, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and the cost of repairs. You do not want to put yourself in a position in which you cannot make your monthly payments and still save adequate money for your child’s educational expenses or for your retirement. If you are not certain you can afford the house, it may be better to sell and downsize.
You and your spouse should attempt to agree on the fate of the family home. If you cannot agree, the issue will have to go to court and a judge will make the decision for you. Judges can award possession of the home to either spouse or may order you to sell it.
Contact a Virginia family law attorney for help
It is always wise to have an attorney to help you figure out the many issues that may arise in a divorce, such as what will happen to your house. Call Virginia divorce lawyer Raymond B. Benzinger today for assistance at (703) 312-0410.