If you think it is unusual for a couple to co-own a family house even after they have been divorced, you better think again. Especially when there are kids involved, some couples choose to co-own the property to help the children live their lives without much adjustment after the divorce. Parents think keeping the family home would be what’s best for the kids to keep them grounded. Although some may opt for a buyout of the property instead, the talks on how to settle monthly payments should be done with the presence of their divorce lawyers.
Co-ownership of the property has also become an option for some couples when the real estate industry does not seem to offer a good price for the house. The couple would rather keep the house until the real estate industry is at a boom again. There are also couples who choose to maintain the house for at least a few good years, perhaps until the youngest child graduates high school and leaves town to study elsewhere. This is usually referred to by divorce lawyers as “deferred sale.”
Are there advantages when you decide for a co-ownership of the house?
Like any other settlement in a divorce, co-ownership of the house come with its advantages and disadvantages. If the primary caregiver of the children could not afford to pay for the monthly rental, then keeping the house should be the better option. At least, the kids will have a good place to stay while they go to school. Keeping the house would help parents provide stability and security to the children, even after the divorce decision has been made final. A possible buyout of the parent who can afford it should also be an option. Spreading payments over time should help in the settlement.
What are the risks of co-owning the property?
Because keeping the house means paying the mortgage, taxes and other maintenance costs that it comes with, you must be able to decide on it based on your financial situation. Co-ownership of the property means splitting all these bills into two. If you can’t afford it because of the limited amount of money you earn in a month, you have to be open to talking about it. It can be quite risky to co-own the house when the other spouse cannot seem to afford it.
Lenders never appreciate late mortgage payments. You are putting your credibility at risk when you co-own the property with your former spouse who cannot give payments on time. This brings you back to the first risk that comes with co-owning a property – your involvement with the former spouse.
If you are not sure you can take the risks that accompany co-owning the property, talk to your divorce lawyer about it. He may have an idea or two of what’s best.
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