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Divorce, the Family Home and How Your Kids Could Be Affected

Deciding what to do with the family home is tough when it’s just you and your ex. When you have kids, it can be even more complicated. Should you sell, keep or share the family home, and how might it affect the children?

It’s important to note that many couples have no choice but to sell the family home, and there’s no shame in that. However, if you have options, here’s what to consider:

  • Physical stability: Divorce is already difficult enough for children, since it’s a big change. Selling the family home may require your kids to move to a new neighborhood, town and/or school district, which can have a traumatic impact. Some parents prefer to let the parent with primary custody keep the home, so the kids don’t have to transfer to a new school and activities.
  • Emotional well-being: Staying in the family home can provide a sense of emotional well-being during and after the divorce. Being in a familiar place is usually comforting to children—but not all of them will feel the same way. Some kids find it very difficult to cope with one parent moving out while the home remains largely the same.
  • Financial stability: Even if you don’t have to sell the family home, consider whether you should. Will moving out make it harder for that parent to financially provide for the children? Sometimes a massive drop in your standard of living can make life more difficult for the children than it has to be.
  • Parenting and custody arrangements: Finally, consider your parenting and custody arrangements. If one parent has sole physical custody, keeping the family home can provide a stable environment. If you’re sharing custody, however, consider what kind of arrangement would be best for the kids. In some cases, “birdnesting” (both parents maintaining separate residences while alternating custody time in the family home) can be beneficial.

Every family is different. Your divorce attorney can help you decide what you should do with your family home—call the experienced divorce lawyers at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP for more information.