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Should You Keep The House After Divorce?

Many people in the process of a Virginia divorce are concerned about their largest asset and the object they are most emotionally attached to: their marital home. In many cases, the home in question is not only your family’s biggest investment, it is also the place where your children have been raised and you have built your life.

However, keeping the marital home can have significant downsides. It can be extremely expensive to keep and maintain a home without the assistance of your spouse. Keeping the marital home may also make it more difficult to move past your marriage emotionally.

Here are five points to consider before making a final decision about the future of your marital home:

  • Your financial situation. Sit down with a spreadsheet and a calculator. Put your emotions aside. Can you alone afford your home’s mortgage as well as bills, utilities, and upkeep? How much would you have to sacrifice to do so?
  • The local real estate market. Are comparable homes in your area selling for what you paid for your home?  Depending on when and where you bought your home, you may have an upside-down mortgage or your home may simply be worth much less than its purchase price. It could also be worth much more — which may make it difficult to buy out your spouse’s interest.  Be sure that you know what your home will likely sell for before making final decisions.
  • Your children. How attached are your children to their current home and school system? Could you find a smaller home or apartment in the same area? Are your children too young or too old to have an emotional attachment to the home? Do your children need the stability of the home during the divorce?
  • Your emotions. If you want to keep the home, why do you feel this way? Do you still associate it with the life you had with your spouse? Do you simply not want to make more changes? Do you believe it is a good investment? While it is okay to take your emotions into consideration when deciding where to live, it is also important that they do not override other important factors.
  • Your needs. How much house do you need? Are you going to have your children full-time or part-time? While it is easy to consider whether or not you want the home, it can be more difficult to step back and examine what the basic needs of your family are. Those needs may or may not include your marital home.

At the Law Office of Lori A. Michaud, we understand both the practical and emotional elements involved in making a decision regarding your marital home after a divorce. We can help you work through this issue as well as any other complications that arise during the division of property.

Do you need legal assistance during your Virginia divorce? Call Virginia Beach divorce attorney Lori Michaud today to discuss your case with a knowledgeable, organized, and assertive lawyer.


An outstanding job on my case to have custody, visitation and support decided in my home state instead of Virginia after I separated from military service.- A.E.