Law Offices of Kathleen G. Alvarado
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How hard should I fight for our home?

It is not a secret that California real estate is expensive, and this is both a good and bad thing for residents of Riverside and other parts of this state.

For those trying to buy a home, it can be a real hardship coming up with the money, but for those who already have a house, it can be a great nest egg for the future, provided one can keep up the costs of home ownership.

It is no wonder, then, that in a divorce or separation, what happens to the home is a common hot button issue. Both sides may have very good reasons for wanting to keep the marital property, and, except in the rarest of cases, it is not practical for the separating couple to continue to share ownership and possession of the home.

How hard one should fight to keep the marital residence really depends on their unique facts and circumstances. As such, this strategic question should be discussed with one's lawyer. Still, there are some general principles to keep in mind.

The biggest tip in this respect is not to take an approach that involves keeping the house at all costs, at least not without considering all the ramifications of doing so. For one, this could mean trading a lot of good investments for a property that could at some point turn upside down, that is, be worth less than the amount of the mortgage against it.

Furthermore, a person needs to ask himself honestly whether he can afford to keep the house. Having sole ownership will likely mean also being solely responsible for the house payments, as well as the taxes, insurance and upkeep. If these expenses don't fit in one's budget, keeping the house could be more of a burden than a benefit.

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