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Should you keep the marital home in a gray divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2021 | Divorce, Property Division

Splitting up with your spouse at an older age can pose particular challenges when it comes to dividing your assets. If you are closer to retirement, you know you have fewer working years left than if you divorced while young, so questions like what to do with the marital home will be of critical importance to you.

Whether you should try to hold on to your marital home will depend on your circumstances. There are reasons why either holding on or selling your marital home may be of benefit.

Reasons to sell the home

As CNBC explains, couples going through a gray divorce have to split up retirement money that the spouses were counting on for their future livelihood. After a divorce, you will have less than you had planned to retire on. You might still be able to live on your reduced retirement funds, but if not, you may have to consider how else to replenish your money.

You might rebuild your savings by going back to work. However, if you do not want to work or you cannot for health reasons, selling your home may be an option. You could rebuild some of your retirement savings with the proceeds. You may also have enough left to buy a smaller home. Alternatively, you may have enough in savings but you cannot afford to maintain the house, which may lead you to sell it and buy a less expensive home.

Reasons to keep your home

Like many spouses, you may have sentimental reasons to stay in your marital home. Also, at your current age, you may not want to go through the process of buying a house all over again. Some older spouses prefer the security of knowing they have a place to live.

If holding on to your home is a priority, you might consider negotiating other assets to your spouse in exchange for keeping the home. For instance, you may want the house but not some of the furniture or a large television. You could also take out a life insurance policy on your spouse if you receive alimony to help prevent an interruption of support. Options such as these may help you feel better about your decision regarding your marital home.


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