Why Keeping the House After a Divorce Can Be Bad

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What should you do with the house? A divorce involves too many questions: what will life be like now? How much of the money goes to whom? Who’s going to have the kids when? And, of course, is keeping the house a good idea?

The Answer

Oftentimes, it’s not. While letting go of the home you’ve built and shared memories in can be difficult, both financial and emotional reasons exist for why it might be better to part with it.

Living together in the house has presumably become next to impossible, but what about having only one of you live there, possibly with the kids? Several problems arise when you decide to keep the house:

1. The member of the former couple now living in the house may not be able to compensate the other for their share of the house.

2. Even if you want to keep the house, the Huffington Post explains that affording it is another matter entirely. If you are planning to keep the house on your own, you now have to pay both people’s shares. Refinancing may be a serious issue; “for example, if you are a woman whose livelihood is going to be made up mostly of alimony and child support, you may not be someone to whom a bank is comfortable offering a loan”.

3. Old memories can resurface when you stay in the same place, which can be good (your kid’s first birthday) or bad (the dozens or hundreds of fights you may have had before deciding to get divorced).

3. As the Washington Post points out, if one of you staying in the house is temporary, this creates a financial risk, as “nobody knows what the housing market will be when the house sells”. Not to mention having to decide how to deal with the mortgage fairly in the meantime. If you don’t have kids, keeping the house until you can both get more money for it can also create more of an ongoing relationship than either of you want or need. This may be fine if the divorce was amicable, but as with number 3 on this list, sometimes letting go is healthier.

Need Help Deciding?

A legal professional can help you look at your options more objectively and will know more about the laws that should be informing your decision. If you are looking for a lawyer in or near Barrie, Orillia, or Newmarket, Galbraith Family Law can help. We specialise in family and divorce law. Contact us for more information on how we can make the divorce process easier for you.

About Brian Galbraith

Brian Galbraith is the owner and founder of Galbraith Family Law Professional Corporation. Brian is known in the legal community for his commitment to efficiently practicing family law using technology and streamlining the divorce processes.