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Options for where to live after a divorce

One of the decisions Pennsylvania couples may have to make during and after a divorce is where to live. If the couple owns a home, one person may keep it and continue living there, or they might sell it. Both might then go on to purchase or rent other homes.

A person who decides to remain in the home should understand what the expenses will be. This includes the mortgage, utilities, maintenance, major repairs, insurance and taxes. While people may decide to continue owning the home jointly, they should make sure they want to remain financially entangled with an ex-spouse.

The other options are to sell and buy or rent a new home. Buying a new home may also incur additional expenses including purchasing furniture and transaction costs. Renting a home for a few years could be a good choice because it prevents a person from having to make a major decision during the upheaval of divorce. It can also keep parents near a child's school without having to buy a new home in the area. When deciding where to live, people should consider the above factors as well as the convenience of the home to work and the home's size. They should also consider how it will affect their other financial goals.

In a high-asset divorce, a home may be only one of many assets that may need to be divided. For example, if one person owns a business, the other may be able to claim some of its value. Dividing certain kinds of retirement accounts may incur penalties and taxes without a document known as a qualified domestic relations order. Attorneys will take these and other factors into account when negotiating a settlement agreement.

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