Divorce involves making major decisions. One of the biggest issues in many Indiana divorces involves who is going to keep the marital home and who is going to move out.
You may be determined to keep the marital home at all costs. Perhaps divorce is not your choice, and you feel like you should not be the one to have to move. Maybe there are children involved and as their primary caretaker, you feel that remaining in the home will provide your children with stability and consistency.
Before you decide you will fight for the marital home, there are many things you should consider.
The costs of home ownership
While you have an equal right to the home, if it is a piece of marital property, you must realistically assess your situation and decide if you can afford it. Even if you will receive child support or spousal maintenance, your overall income must be enough to cover all the costs that come with owning a home.
This includes more than just a monthly mortgage payment. You will be responsible for taxes and insurance on the home and all the monthly utility bills. You should have enough income to pay for unexpected costs, such as repairs or maintenance.
Refinancing the mortgage
The mortgage must be refinanced to remove your spouse’s name. You must qualify for this refinancing. A poor credit history, not enough credit, or a lower income could mean you cannot refinance.
Although your divorce agreement may state that you receive the marital home, many agreements make this conditional on a successful refinancing. If you cannot refinance and your spouse does not want the home, you might have to consider other options, such as selling.
Mental and emotional health
If you can afford the home and successfully refinance, determine if staying in the home is best for your mental and emotional health. The home likely contains many memories of your old life with your spouse. Consider if moving to a new place and making a fresh start could be better.
No divorce decisions should be made hastily. Taking the time to think through decisions like this increases your chance of post-divorce stability.