divorcing marital homeKnow the cost before you say YES! Here is how you can divorce your marital home.

Figuring out how to ‘divide up’ your marital home in divorce is not only one of the most important financial decisions, but tends to be very emotionally laden. Before you say YES, know your options!

In this blog, I will specifically address the cost of keeping the marital home after divorce.

If you’re trying to decide whether you can afford to keep the marital home, this is the perfect place to start.    If you have a mortgage that is currently in both of your names, you’ll need to see whether you can qualify for a re-fi in your name only – and if so, whether you can afford to keep the home.

Contact a mortgage lender to find out if you qualify to obtain a mortgage in your name and get a quote for a house payment. Tip: your housing expenses (including utilities, taxes and insurance) should not exceed 40 percent of total monthly gross income. That’s the figure you’ll have to plug into your post divorce budget. That’s just a part of the equation. You will have to add the cost of keeping the home, such as repairs, upkeep (snow removal, lawn care, etc.).

Your other option is to rent, in which case you should check the rents in your desired location and enter that number into your divorce budget.

If you decide to rent, verify that utilities are included. For your phone expense, if you have a family plan, find out the cost of an individual plan, and once again, plug it into your divorce budget.

You can find more information on how to “divide up” your home and lots of information on how to get a smart divorce in my book The Bedroom Elephant: A Guide to Successful Divorce at http://www.amazon.com/The-Bedroom-Elephant-Successful-Divorce-ebook/dp/B00H4E61BM