You are divorcing. To put it bluntly, you and your ex are going to need two separate places to live now. If you’re currently renting, then the solution is fairly easy and obvious, but if you and your ex own a house together, it’s not so simple. You will need to take some time and think through the options in order to make the best decision for your future.
When a home is owned jointly, the first option is for one of you to stay in the house, while the other finds somewhere else to live. What about the names on the mortgage, though? Should you immediately get your spouse’s name off the mortgage? While that may be the first impulse, it is not necessarily a good idea. Until everything is entirely ironed out and stamped with a judge’s seal of approval, you want to avoid taking any drastic actions. What’s important is for you to work an unofficial “arrangement” such as that into an official agreement, with the details spelled out up-front in writing.
One major piece of advice that any attorney will give you is to NOT buy a new house while in the middle of a divorce. Even if you could comfortably afford it and will need a house eventually, now is not the time for such major decisions. In fact, while in the midst of divorce proceedings, it’s a good idea to run any financial commitments by your attorney first. They’re the ones with the greatest knowledge about your particular circumstances.
So, bringing it back to the original question, where should you live during the divorce proceedings? Well, the obvious answer is to try to stay living together in your normal house. This is not always possible, but if you are able to get along together in close quarters, it can save a lot of money, make the transition a lot easier for children (if you have any), and it will allow you to easily collaborate on decisions/agreements. If, however, being that close would lead to a toxic environment, it may be better to leave. In that case, you could do as many others have done: You can rent an apartment nearby; something close enough to be convenient, cheap enough to be safe, and comfortable enough to be temporary housing.
Whatever you do, don’t make any rash decisions about living arrangements. What seems to make sense now often looks rash in retrospect. So, have a sounding board – someone who can help you plan properly, and tell you when something is a good/bad idea.
It’s worth mentioning that keeping the house may not make sense for either party, in which case you have other options you can exercise. There may be better uses for your money, and someone with personal knowledge of your case can help you find them. If you have any questions or concerns about your divorce or any other family matter, get in touch with a skilled attorney today. They can help you reduce your stress and avoid any complications.