California real estate is notoriously expensive. If you are getting divorced, it may make it more difficult to retain the family home as you simply may not be able to afford it. However, recent changes in the real estate market may make it easier to keep the house in a divorce.
Your house is worth less
The biggest hurdle in a divorce is the sheer cost of the house. The other spouse will generally own half of the marital home depending on the division of property. This means that they are entitled to money for their part of the home. When real estate values are high, this means that you will have to either take a large cut out of your share of the other assets or just write a big check. With homes being valued lower due to economic uncertainty, your spouse’s share of the home could be worth less since the purchase price will be based on market value.
Mortgage rates are lower
At the same time, interest rates are as low as they have ever been. The smart move may be refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of these lower rates. This can knock hundreds of dollars off of your monthly payment and bring the home more into your range of affordability. Make sure that you cannot just afford the home today but also still make the payments as your economic circumstances change in the future.
Keeping the family home requires either the other spouse’s agreement or being able to persuade a judge that you are the one who should remain in the family home. Both of these may benefit from the help of a family law attorney as you seek to negotiate a divorce agreement that lets you stay in the home. If there is no agreement to be had, your attorney may try to go to court to have the judge award you the right to stay in the marital home.