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Should the family home always loom large in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2018 | Divorce, Firm News

If you’re a divorcing woman in Arkansas or elsewhere, you’ve got two choices for consideration in today’s blog post: the old study or the new study.

The former, which introduced the terminology “divorce gap,” posits that women’s personal financial worth plummets as a general rule following marital dissolution, while wealth for men sees a material spike.

Right, we didn’t think you’d be much interested in that research.

Here’s the fundamental takeaway from the latter study, which is hot off the proverbial press. Divorcing women interested in financial matters – and who among any divorcing demographic isn’t? – might be far more attuned to its core theme. A recent Money magazine succinctly conveys that bottom line thusly: “Divorced women may not be as badly off as previously feared.” And that is especially true in their comparison with single women who have never been married.

What’s the catalyst promoting that difference?

It’s simple: home ownership.

And that’s logical, right? Many marriages – especially relatively long-term couplings – are marked by a long string of mortgage payments that provide a couple with valuable home equity. Many women end up keeping the home in the divorce process.

Of course, that has strong points to recommend it, but the above-cited Money piece notes a sizable caveat – a double-edged sword, if you will – that should be considered with home ownership following divorce.

That is this: In some instances, it might not be as profitable for a divorcing woman as is taking a fair share of other marital property, like income-bearing investments. Houses aren’t exactly liquid assets. And they come with property taxes, insurance outlays, periodic maintenance costs and, sometimes, capital gains taxes when sold.

Still, it’s certainly a very good thing for a family home to be in the asset mix for any divorcing couple. A proven family law attorney with experience in divorce-linked property division matters can provide further information.


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