One of the most frequent questions I come across in divorce mediation is whether someone should keep the house or sell it.  There are a lot of issues to consider when answering this difficult question:

1.     Can I afford the house?  Many people jump to the conclusion that they cannot afford the house.  However, before making a final decision, do your research.  What is the cost to rent or lease an apartment or home in the same area?  Is there a nearby area that is less expensive?  By doing some research, you might find that the cost to rent a home is the same or more than your mortgage payment.  Also, consider the tax savings of owning the home (mortgage interest and property taxes that you can deduct on your taxes each year).  

2.     Hidden expenses:  Consider the costs of maintaining a home, such as routine home repairs, extraordinary home repairs (ie, the water heater breaks, roof leak), yard maintenance, pool maintenance, etc.  You may want to rent a home if your landlord will pay the cost of these repairs.

3.     Timing:  If you have children, you may want to keep the home and sell it later.  For example, you may want to keep the home until the kids graduate high school so that they do not have to change schools.  Or, you may want to keep the house for a year until your children finish grade school so that their switch to a new school coincides with entering junior high school.  

4.     Emotion:  Some people do not want to stay in the house because it contains bad memories.  If you feel this way, consider waiting a few months before making a final decision.  Negative emotions may subside over time.  Try not to make a snap decision based upon your current state of emotions. 

Divorce mediation will help you review all your options so that you can make the decision that is best for you and your children.  Call California Mediation Solutions for a FREE consultation and discover how mediation can help you determine what to do with the family home in divorce.