“I want custody of our kids and cannot bear the thought of moving them out of the house. If I get custody, will I get to keep the house?”
This is one of the most common questions heading into a divorce. There are many factors which go into formulating an answer, such as the total value of the marital estate, whether you earn an income, and the potential award of child support and/or maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support). If there are enough marital assets to award you the house and compensate your spouse for their percentage of the value of the marital estate, there is a good chance the court will award you the house if you get custody. The next question is: can you afford to stay in the house? If your income, plus the support award, cannot meet the mortgage and your expenses, this “award” will quickly turn into an anchor around your neck. Your attorney should always help you think one, two, and three steps ahead. You may want the house, but if you cannot afford it, do not waste time that can be spent considering your alternatives.