The Michigan real estate market has been quite strong in recent years. As you think about divorce, you may worry about your housing arrangement. Maybe you want to ensure that your children can stay in the same school district, or perhaps you feel strongly about staying in the neighborhood where you are close to family members or co-workers.
Many individuals considering divorce in Michigan have a strong desire to retain their marital home in the divorce proceedings. Although your home may be the highest-price asset that you share with your spouse, that doesn’t always mean that keeping the house is the right goal when you file for divorce.
What is your motive?
Asking yourself why you want to keep the house can help you decide if it is a goal worth fighting for or not. Emotional attachment to the property because you raised your children there is a valid reason to want to stay, as is concern about the school district for your kids or your commute to work.
However, if all you worry about is the financial value of the home or winning over your ex in the divorce, keeping the house isn’t necessarily the right approach. The equitable distribution rules in Michigan mean that you have a right to a fair and appropriate portion of the home’s equity when you divorce regardless of who stays at the house.
Is keeping the home realistic?
You and your spouse may have both played a crucial role in your approval for a mortgage. You may not have enough income on your own to refinance the home, let alone withdraw enough equity to pay your spouse their share of the home’s value.
Even if financial expenses are a non-issue for you, maintaining a home without the support of a spouse can be much harder than people think. All of that work on your own may exhaust you or might require that you outsource and hire others to do those chores. Being honest with yourself about what you hope to gain and whether you can reasonably manage the property financially and practically alone can help you set achievable goals for property division proceedings in your Michigan divorce.