Q: What kind of financial reasons are there to decide whether I should live with my husband while we divorce?
Money—or the lack of it—is not the only reason why some women decide to remain in the family home while divorcing, but money matters are the strongest, most common motivation to tolerate such an arrangement.
You should be aware of just how many financial issues may be a stake when deciding whether you should live together, whether you’re the one doing the leaving or your husband is.
Costs Associated With Selling the Family Home
Many divorcing couples must sell the home to divide its value in order to meet their obligations under California’s community property rules. Selling your home has a number of costs to be tallied:
- Determining occupancy rights can require a costly legal effort, if there’s a dispute.
- Choosing and agreeing upon a real estate agent and his fees.
- Paying for any required home repairs after your home’s inspection (which could cost thousands).
- Closing costs to be paid by the seller (that’s you).
- Any outstanding back taxes.
- A second mortgage—or even a third—against the family home may make things tricky.
- An upside-down mortgage, where the projected future cost of mortgage payments exceed the value of the house.
- Flat or slow housing sales.
Costs Associated with Moving Out of the Family Home
When the time does come for one or both of you to move out, it’s not an inexpensive venture:
- Difficulty finding a new, affordable place to live separately.
- Coming up with the money for a down payment on a new home, or producing the money needed for a rental deposit, plus first and last months’ rent.
- Dividing household items and replacing items lost to your husband in the division of household goods.
Other Financial Matters That Overshadow Everything
Life on your own will involve a number of new financial realities. Although remaining in the family home together during your divorce can postpone them for a time, it will be only temporary:
- High cost of living: utilities, household goods, food prices and gasoline
- Higher auto insurance rates
- The cost of securing health insurance separately
- Laws and court decisions regarding the division of your property and assets, from vehicles to retirement investments.
- Division of debt
- Child custody, which involves child support (another defining money matter) decisions
- Alimony—also a financial matter of great weight.
You Need Professional Counsel to Help You Make Sense of it All
Living together while you settle the terms of your divorce can help you minimize your expenses during that time, but you may need professional help to thoroughly sort through all the financial issues of your divorce. Contact the Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan to speak to an experienced attorney about the crucial financial aspects of your San Francisco divorce.
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