Many families in Indiana commit as much as a third of their weekly income to their mortgage payments. Although the first years that someone has a mortgage often involved them largely paying interest, every monthly payment adds a little bit to the total equity the owner has accrued in the property.
The equity that you have built in your home during your marriage could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is not property you want to ignore in your upcoming divorce proceedings. Considering the three factors below carefully can help you set the best goals as you prepare for your upcoming divorce.
- Your ability to afford the house
Although your payments may currently be relatively reasonable, the house will cost more when you own it without a spouse. Unless you have other property for your spouse to keep, the property division process will very likely require that you refinance the home to withdraw some of its equity.
Your payments will go up because the principal balance that you owe will increase. There may be additional expenses, like a higher interest rate, because you only have one borrower contributing toward the mortgage.
- Your ability to maintain the home
Even when someone can afford a property, they may not be able to handle the physical obligations of daily maintenance without a spouse. It takes quite a bit to keep a home in habitable condition, and if you work a demanding job, you may not be able to spend enough time to keep the home presentable and safe.
- The needs of your children or animals
The property where you lived during your marriage is also home for your children and any companion animals that you share with your spouse. Whether you have horses that require acreage or high school children that don’t want to change schools, you may need to think about who will take care of the others living with you now and what property division arrangements might mean for those other parties.
If you aren’t the one who will have the majority of parenting time or if you cannot commit to taking care of those animals, then you may find that letting your spouse retain that home will be the best option for your family. Of course, just because you choose not to live in the house does that mean you give up your interest in the property. You still have the right to equity from the home or to request its value in other marital assets.
Thinking carefully about your circumstances can help you set realistic and practical goals for your upcoming divorce.