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Is it always worth it to fight for the family home in a divorce?

People in Nevada often have emotional ties to the family home, which can make it one of the most sought-after pieces of property should a couple divorce. Each side may have very personal reasons for wanting to keep the family home. However, there are important financial considerations that accompany home ownership that should be considered before deciding whether to fight for such a large asset.

First of all, owning a home requires money. If there is a mortgage, the spouse keeping the home must be able to afford the monthly payments on a single income. If something major breaks, such as a furnace, the person keeping the home must be able to cover the costs of a repair or replacement. In addition, a person may need to refinance the mortgage in their name only. If they believe they will be unable to do so, it may not be worth it to pursue the family home in a divorce. For example, lenders may be hesitant to enter into a loan with a person whose primary sources of income are spousal support and child support.

Spouses who wish to keep the family home must also consider whether they are financially able to buy out their ex's share in the home or trade the family home for property of equal value such as a savings account or retirement account. Even if they are able to buy out their ex's share in the home, they still must consider whether it is wise to do so, keeping in mind what they are giving up in exchange for the home.

In the end, there is no right or wrong answer to who keeps the family home. If a person can afford to keep the home, it may be worth fighting for. If neither party can afford to do so, then they may agree on selling the home and splitting the proceeds. So, while a person might have many emotional ties to the family home, they should not let this keep them from thinking practically and making financially-sound decisions.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Keeping The House After Divorce," Kathleen B. Connell, Feb. 20, 2013

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