When you file for divorce in Rhode Island, you’ll have to figure out how to divide every property you own–including your house. If you’re like most people, your first instinct might be to fight to keep the house. However, keeping the house could actually cause more trouble in the long run.
How should you divide the house with your spouse?
If you’re attached to the house, you might fight to keep the house during the property division process. This could eliminate the need to search for a different house, but it also has its downsides. If you didn’t pay off the mortgage while you were still married, you’ll have to keep making mortgage payments without your former spouse’s help. You’ll also have to pay for utilities, maintenance, home insurance and other fees on your own.
If this sounds like more than you could handle, your divorce attorney might recommend selling the house instead. You and your former spouse could sell the house and split the proceeds, giving you a windfall that you could put in your savings or use for the down payment on another house. The main downside is that you won’t have a place to live until you buy or rent a new place or find someone who will take you in.
Should you keep or sell your house?
Your attorney might ask you a few questions to determine whether you should keep or sell your house. If you have children, you might want to keep the house so your children don’t have to move and adjust to an entirely new living situation.
Otherwise, you might want to sell the house and find a new place to live. Selling the house could give you a financial head-start that you won’t have if you try to keep paying the mortgage on the same house.