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Pros and cons of keeping a home in divorce

Women in Kentucky who are getting a divorce and who want to keep the family home might be advised not to by some financial planners. According to one expert, she only recommends that women take the home as part of property division if they can afford it for more than five years after the divorce. Often, women struggle to afford the home because of the costs of other expenses besides the mortgage such as insurance, taxes and upkeep.

However, a study by the Center for Retirement Research found that keeping the home could be to some women's advantage. The study found that households that had not been through a divorce had a net financial worth 30 percent higher than those that had divorced. Furthermore, there was a 5 percent higher chance that divorced households would run out of assets during retirement. The one exception to this was single divorced women whose assets were the same as women who never married, and keeping the home was what appeared to make the difference.

There can be a significant amount of equity in a home. Furthermore, unlike a retirement account, a home can provide a physical shelter for a person during retirement.

A person will need to consider these types of pros and cons when negotiating property division in a divorce. It is important to understand not just the current value of assets but whether they are likely to appreciate or depreciate and whether other factors could reduce their value. For example, there might be taxes or penalties associated with withdrawals from some retirement accounts. Selling certain assets could result in having to pay capital gains taxes. People may want to discuss these issues with an attorney as well as whether one spouse may be required to pay spousal and child support to the other.

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Dietz & Overmann, PLLC
130 Dudley Road Suite 150
Edgewood, KY 41017

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