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Alternatives to keeping the house after a divorce

The question of who is going to get the house after a marriage ends is commonly one of the biggest ones to resolve. Sometimes, it makes sense to fight as hard as possible to keep the house in a divorce, but this is highly dependent on a couple's circumstances and other assets. It is important to understand what other options are available during property division and what advantages and disadvantages they offer.

Renting an apartment in the Longmont area during or after a divorce brings some distinct advantages. A divorce is a major change in one's lifestyle, and renting for a while after allows one the luxury of a transition period. Renting is usually cheaper than taking care of a home and will inoculate individuals against unexpected expenses associated with home maintenance and repair. Divorced parents with custody of their children may also be able to rent in a good school district, where they otherwise would not be able to afford to buy a home right after a divorce.

On the other hand, buying a new home usually makes financial sense. Recent divorcees may be able to buy a home and quickly start building equity, depending on the real estate market conditions. For those who know that they want to live in a different part of town and what size home they need -- perhaps one with less square footage or fewer bedrooms or bathrooms -- divorce can be an opportunity to make this adjustment.

Another factor contributing to these decisions though, will be the financial terms of the divorce itself. One will have to look carefully at whether there will be enough funds in the bank account after the divorce for a down payment, for example. Divorce may also affect one's credit score and income level such that obtaining a new mortgage may not be possible right away. A family law professional can help discuss living preferences and realistic options during the divorce process and ensure that settlement discussions take these into account.

Source: WTOP, "Deciding where to live during and after a divorce," Dawn Doebler, Feb. 6, 2018

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