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‘Losing’ your house in a divorce setttlement can be a win

Couples no longer fight over who gets the house. Now the couples are more inclined to fight over who should be strapped with the large mortgage. Either way, navigating through the emotuional and financial consequences of divorce are best left to the professionals. Divorce lawyers have to advise their clients about taxes, mortgage refinance, or house sales. And in this new economy, leaving the marriage debt free can be a huge asset. And, divorce lawyers can help get each of their clients into a manageable home with a modest mortgage.

Forbes’ columnist Jeff Landers says the spouse who gets the house in a divorce settlement is often seen by others as having “a sort of triumph, and that the spouse who moves out appears in some ways to have ‘lost.'”

But ask yourself some questions before you declare yourself the winner or loser. First, if you get the house in the settlement, will you be able to refinance? Going it alone on a large mortgage might be more than you can afford post-divorce, so think it over carefully and consult with your family law attorney and your banker.

Don’t forget that there are some bills apart from the mortgage that come with home ownership: upkeep, insurance, repairs, furnishings, etc. Figure those numbers into your calculations as well.

There are also tax considerations to be taken into account, Landers notes in Forbes. If your home has appreciated while you have owned it, you might have a significant capital gain on which you will owe taxes.

Again, discuss these matters in detail with financial experts and an experienced Clark County family law attorney.

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