Should You Ask For The House During Your Divorce Settlement Negotiations?

Submitted by: Cathy

When going through the divorce process our home, the home the children and I were left in felt like a refuge. Our worlds had been turned topsy turvey and it was a huge comfort to go “home” to familiar surroundings. Our home kept us grounded. My youngest was especially attached. His friends lived within doors of his front door and his friends were a great comfort to him during that period.

I wanted to stay in the home until my youngest graduated from school. I knew though that I couldn’t afford to and that my soon to be ex was in no position financially to help. Knowing the burden it would be on both of us to maintain two homes I chose not to ask for the home during our settlement negotiations.

Are you in the same position? Are you dreading giving up the “family home” and starting over? Raleigh Divorce Lawyer, Lee Rosen addresses the issue below and may have an answer for you if you are holding onto the idea of keeping your home during and after your divorce.


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    Jack, if I had it to do over I would have insisted our boys be able to stay in the family home. The ex and I agreed that he would pay so much a month for x amount of years toward a less expensive home (one that would not be a financial strain on him or me) if the family home was sold.

    He agreed to it but never followed through. Once the family home was sold he defied the part of the court order regarding the “substitute home.” I took him back to court three times, every time he was found to be in contempt. The judge yelled at him, threatened him but never did anything to encourage him to follow through.

    Eventually I was able to buy a home of my own for the boys and I. It was hard at first but we made it a home and got what we needed eventually.

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    Such a painful (and difficult) issue – wanting to keep the kids in what they know as home, hoping (wishing?) there were some way to maintain it, at least for awhile, and in your gut, doubting that it’s possible.

    Many of us scrape and borrow for a year or two or longer trying to manage it, only to lose our homes and be far worse off. The fallacy of keeping the children in something like the life they once led is just that – a fallacy. The fact is, for most, divorce leaves at least one spouse worse off, and the kids as well. If only we were wiser during our marriages, and less selfish.

    If only the adversarial system were “capped” in some way to prevent the financial devastation that often results along with the emotional scarring.

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