Should I fight to keep our family home?  

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2024 | Firm News |

One big question divorcing couples in the Long Beach area will likely face is who will remain in the family home.

Most of the time, spouses will divide their family home according to the community property laws of California. Basically, this means the value of the home gets split 50/50 between the spouses. There are exceptions to this that depend on each person’s individual circumstances.

Practically speaking, the couple might disagree about what should happen to the home. Often, both parties may want to remain in it.

There are tradeoffs to either option. The person who chooses to leave the home will likely have to find another place to live. On the other hand, the person who keeps the home ordinarily will be responsible for its upkeep and for continuing to pay for it.

Whether to fight for the family home depends on a person’s situation

If a couple cannot agree on how to do it, the court will decide how to divide the home. One option is always just to sell the home and divide the proceeds, although this may not be an attractive alternative.

Whether someone should fight to keep the family home depends on their financial situation as well as their personal and family goals. Here are some general financial questions people should ask themselves:

  • Will I be able to afford, taxes, insurance, maintenance and mortgage payments?
  • Am I able to arrange to pay back my ex-spouse for their share? Am I willing and able to trade off other property?
  • Would I be able to re-finance the house to get my ex-spouse’s name off the mortgage?
  • When might I want to sell the home, and how much might it be worth at that time? On a related point, will there be tax consequences if I sell the home later?
  • Would I find better financial and other opportunities if I moved?

Of course, there are also many personal and legal considerations involved in this decision. A parent with minor children, for example, might be reluctant to give up the family home. Legally, it may be a good idea for a spouse to discuss with an experienced legal professional about their options and possible outcomes.