A Divorced Mom and the Decision to Sell the House or Not

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A divorce can be brutal and ugly; even the most civil typically involves heart wrenching decisions. A family was created when two people fell in love, likely nurtured in this home for many years, and is now being ripped apart. It is vital for newly single mothers to realize that divorce changes things for every family member, and that decisions she makes during this time will have lasting effects on everyone as well. Affordability issues The primary consideration should be whether the house is affordable for the family within its new budget guidelines. The newly divorced mom would be wise to figure out what her total outlay is for the home on a monthly basis. Add all expenses; mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, making note of any large expenditures that might be needed for repairs or necessary improvements. Does this amount seem feasible under the circumstances? If so, then this single mother has lots of options to choose from. On the other hand, if that figure is hard to swallow, some market research is definitely in order. She should look into other homes that would accommodate the family at a more affordable price. The family may have to move for purely practical reasons. Debts to settle Often, considerable unsecured debt is accrued during a marriage, and fingers start pointing both ways about who is to blame. If the marital debt is a huge number, and there is reasonable equity in the home, selling it might be the best way for both spouses to move forward unencumbered by their past. This works when there is equity in the home in a large enough amount to pay off debts, or at least take a big bite out of those debts. If unable to pay off everything, the high interest rates on credit cards and other unsecured debt make it important to tackle that debt first. Lowering the debt can make adjusting to newly single life easier for everyone. As a co-borrower on the mortgage, the former husband will remain equally responsible for paying off the house. He may insist that the house be sold unless his former spouse can obtain a mortgage of her own and relieve him of further mortgage responsibility. What is best for the kids? When school-aged children are involved in a divorce situation, things get way more complicated. This may be the only home the children have ever known. They may be in walking distance of a school that they love, with their best friend right next door. Their room may be lovingly decorated and everything that they want. Divorced moms need to weigh their options while considering what the children have to say about the possibility of moving. Divorce is hard on children, in some ways harder than on the adults involved. If they feel strongly one way or another, seriously consider their wishes in your decision. Emotional attachments The family home was likely the place where many happy events in your family's history occurred, so the decision to part with it can be extremely tough. It is hard to walk away forever from a place that once held so much joy. On the flip side, if the marriage had turned very negative, you may find it much easier to move away from the home and truly start over in a different place. Many people make the mistake of putting emotions first during and after a divorce; financial considerations are far more important in the long run.

Denise G.

Denise G.

Fort Myers, Florida, United States

Denise Gabbard is a published author, professional writer and online marketing strategist. She has written for Business Insider, The Huffington Post, USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, Social Media Today and Kikolani, among hundreds of venues. She can be reached at denis...

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