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Property division process: Should keeping the home be a goal?

Making decisions regarding how a divorcing couple should divvy up their assets can be complex. It is not unusual for individuals to have attachments to certain items and feel the need to negotiate harder for those particular pieces of property. However, California residents may wish to consider how the outcomes of the property division process could impact their futures before staying set on obtaining a certain asset.

Specifically, the family home can be a conflicting item. The house can often cause issues as there are both emotional and financial ramifications to consider. Some individuals may feel particularly attached to the home due to their children growing up there, and other emotions such as guilt and anxiety may also come into play. A parent may not want to give up the home due to potentially feeling guilty over uprooting the kids, or that person may not want to go through the anxiety-inducing process of home searching and moving.

Before letting these emotions make the major decision, parties may wish to closely assess the financial impacts maintaining the home could have. In many cases, individuals have been making mortgage payments on two incomes, and after divorce, the person who keeps the house will have to make those payments alone. As a result, the individual may have reached the goal of keeping the house, but the financial strain that results may not be worth it.

The items that a person chooses to fight for during the property division process can depend heavily on the circumstances of each case. California residents who are concerned about keeping their family homes or other particular assets may wish to know how they could effectively negotiate for the outcomes they hope to achieve. Speaking with knowledgeable attorneys could help interested individuals determine their best courses of action.

Source: investopedia.com, "Why You Shouldn't Keep Your Home After a Divorce", Laurie Itkin, Jan. 10, 2018

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