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Does it make sense for you to keep your marital home?

No two marriages are exactly alike, so it is perhaps unsurprising that no two divorces are exactly alike either. Some couples divorce peacefully, while others navigate complex, contested divorce processes. Some former spouses maintain contact with each other post-divorce, others do not. And while some individuals cannot wait to leave their marital residences, others remain deeply attached to the houses they call home.

If you are attached to your marital home, you may be eager to retain ownership of it during and after your divorce process. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this desire. However, it is important for you to think through this issue before you insist upon this course of action. In addition, it is generally a good idea to speak with your attorney about any concerns you have regarding home ownership post-divorce.

Retaining ownership of your marital home is an issue that you and your attorney will discuss with your spouse and your spouse's attorney while trying to construct a larger property division settlement. If you retain ownership of your house, you will likely need to forfeit similarly valued marital assets to your spouse. Depending on your circumstances, this exchange may leave you without retirement savings or other important assets. Thinking through what home ownership will mean for your overall divorce settlement will be vitally important to your financial future.

In addition, it is important to think through other consequences of maintaining ownership. You may need to ask yourself whether you can afford the mortgage, taxes and upkeep on your own. You may need to study the housing market in your area and consider whether your home needs any improvements. You may also need to think about furnishing your house again if your spouse is going to take most of the furnishings.

It is for these and many other reasons that it is important to think through whether it makes good sense to keep your marital home. If this course of action does not make good sense, you may need to speak with your attorney about exploring other options.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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