Should I Keep the House for My Kids After a California Divorce?
At the Land Legal Group, our divorce attorneys in Los Angeles understand that there are many hard decisions to make when spouses with children decide to end their marriages. As those decisions are being weighed, the couple typically separates, and one leaves the family home.
Our family law attorneys in Los Angeles County also know this is a very emotional time for both the parents and the children, which is why most couples initially decide that one spouse and the children remain in the family home — for both physical and emotional stability.
However, once the divorce is final, in some cases, keeping the family home may not be the best financial option for either of the spouses, even when one has been awarded custody of the children.
While all divorce proceedings are unique, as are the finances and decisions made inside and outside the courtroom, there are a few tips to determine whether you can realistically keep the family home after your Los Angeles, California divorce.
Determine How Much Equity is in the Property
Divorce requires both spouses to equitably distribute their assets, which may include the family home.
For one spouse to keep the home, he or she may need to purchase the other spouse’s equity in the property, either through a cash payment or in exchange for other assets.
That will require getting the house appraised.
This ensures that both the spouse who resides in the home and the one who is moving understands the financial position keeping or relinquishing the house will place them in.
Realistically Outline Your Finances Before Agreeing to Keep the Home
Divorce will require both spouses to take a hard, honest look at their finances as part of the property distribution requirements.
No matter which spouse decides to keep the home, he or she must consider the complete financial obligation associated with that decision, which may include the mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and expenses like utilities, maintenance, and repairs.
If you cannot afford the home on your own, it may be time to consider selling it and splitting the equity, when applicable.
What if I Want to Move My Children Out of California?
Divorce often leads to new beginnings, and sometimes that means starting over somewhere else.
When one parent wants to relocate with the children, many factors must be considered before the court will approve a move — especially one outside of the state.
The first requirement will be to examine the child custody arrangement that was either agreed upon by the parents or ordered by the court.
Generally, a parent who has primary physical custody — depending on whether the custody order is temporary or permanent — may be able to move away with the children unless the other parent can show that the move would harm them,
If the parents have joint physical custody of the children, and one parent does not want the children to move, the other parent must provide convincing evidence to the court that the move is in the best interest of the children.
Consult with Our Family Law Attorney in Los Angeles First
Whether you are considering keeping or selling the family home, it is incredibly important to talk with an experienced family law attorney to determine what each decision will mean to you when the divorce is final.
While keeping the home may seem to provide stability during an otherwise chaotic time, looking at the big picture will allow you to move forward with confidence after the divorce.
If you are considering what a divorce will look like for your family, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles today at (310) 552-3500 to learn how we can help you understand your rights and outline your options, so you can make informed decisions about your future.