Housing after a divorce presents financial challenges

Finding an affordable place to live in California challenges people under the best of circumstances, and the emotional and financial strains of divorce complicate the issue. Regardless of the difficulties, the divorce process involves one or both parties moving out of the marital home. Deciding where to live after a divorce requires a person to evaluate carefully financial resources, future goals and family needs.

When one ex-spouse wants to stay in the marital home, this decision typically requires that person to assume the existing mortgage. Sufficient income is needed to do so as a single person. The person also must consider the tax, insurance and maintenance costs for the home. The option for both ex-spouses to maintain co-ownership of a property exists but entails a financial relationship for the foreseeable future, which could be undesirable. For a person who wants to buy a new home, similar financial considerations must be taken into account. Funds from the sale of marital assets will likely need to be available to complete the transaction.

Renting offers a person a short-term alternative to owning a home during the financial transition to single life. Renters have fewer financial commitments and more flexibility. Renting a house or apartment might also allow a parent to remain in a school district for the sake of children.

A person who needs to make these and other types of decisions during the divorce process could obtain advice from an attorney. After learning how the law might direct the division of marital property, a person might gain a better understanding of the post-divorce financial landscape. An attorney could provide support during negotiations for the divorce settlement and strive to protect the client from making agreements that lead to financial hardship.

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