Many divorcing parents strongly believe a house itself represents stability and security for the children. They are afraid to sell the house for fear of adding to the children's upheaval. These feelings are valid and understandable. However, parents who allow their fears and emotions about the child's welfare to surpass common sense and sound financial planning as drivers of decision making about the house often find it is their undoing.
The reality is wholesome, quality parenting creates children of divorce who are stable and healthy. All things equal, children will fair far worse in a house with a parent who is emotionally or physically absent because he or she works three jobs to pay the mortgage and keep the lights on, than children who live in an apartment with a caring and available parent who can reasonably afford rent and has enough money left over to go to the movies and take a vacation with them.
If you know you are an attentive parent, then stop worrying. The children need you after divorce, not the house. "Home" will be wherever you have a loving relationship with your children. And if you have some extra money to save for a rainy day because you sold the house and received your share of the net equity, then all the better.
Most importantly, ask yourself this: What would happen to your plan for children’s stability and security if you keep the house in the divorce but you lose it to foreclosure later because you did not make a realistic evaluation of costs and cash flow when you had the opportunity?
At Detente we'll give you all the help you'll need to feel comfortable you have considered everything before you make a decision about the house.