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Is retaining the home a prudent financial decision in divorce?

In many Pennsylvania families, the home is the central focal point for many decisions. Couples spend time selecting the home, taking care of it and building a life in it. Then, when this life is altered by divorce, the dilemma of who gets the home can become an issue.

Many times, one of the individuals seeks to acquire the home as part of the divorce settlement. At times this is a prudent decision. However, in other cases, it may not be in the individual's best interest.

One thing to consider in accepting the home as part of the settlement is the current and future value of the home as compared to the other assets the couple owns. It may be necessary for the individual to give up other assets in order to retain the home. This may not be in the individual's best interest financially.

Another aspect to consider when deciding who keeps the home is the mortgage. Typically, the mortgage is listed in both names. Just because the couple will no longer be married, the mortgage company is not obligated to release one of them from responsibility for mortgage payments. For this to happen, the individual who retains the home will need to refinance the home in his or her name.

The home is often one of the largest assets that the Pennsylvania couple possesses. However, its value can fluctuate and it takes time to withdraw equity from it. When deciding to accept the home as a significant part of the divorce settlement, one will also want to analyze the other assets and be certain that this is a prudent financial decision.

Source: Forbes, "Til The House Do Us Part: The Top Five Reasons To Refinance After Divorce", Jason Crowley, Nov. 27, 2017

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