One of the bitter realities of going through a divorce in Texas is having to decide where to live while the divorce proceedings are ongoing and after things have wrapped up. There are no right or wrong answers here. Your decision ultimately depends on your specific circumstances, even if a certain option turned out well for a friend or family member.
Continuing to live in the family home may add to your personal debt and tax liabilities. On the other hand, moving out can mean paying more out of your pocket every month for rent or a new mortgage.
Here’s a closer look at your options and their pros and cons.
Continue Staying in the Family Home
If you have young children or currently don’t have the resources to move and find a new home, you can negotiate to continue living in the family home. Obviously, this means you can maintain a part of the quality of life you’re accustomed to, not to mention you get to stay close to your friends and family in the neighborhood through this tough time.
But this option also comes with issues. For starters, you need to prepare yourself financially for the costs of maintaining a home on your own, such as maintenance, cleaning, utilities, and taxes. If you are assuming the mortgage, you need to find out if you have the monthly cash flow and financial capability to refinance. Note that monthly mortgage payments cannot be counted towards spousal maintenance or child support.
Moving into a New Home
While many divorcees fight tooth and nail to continue living in the family home, there’s something to be said about starting life anew and moving into a new neighborhood, city, or state. And given the right real estate market, this can lead to an opportunity to build equity, serving as a launch pad towards greater wealth.
Of course, it goes without saying that buying a new home is expensive, so before making any final decisions, you want to be realistic about whether you can even afford the total cost of moving. These expenses include:
Transaction costs (e.g. down payment and settlements)
If your joint accounts are frozen or the divorce proceedings are taking longer than expected to resolve, moving into a new home may not be the smartest option.
Renting is perhaps the most practical option on this list, especially when it comes to figuring out where to live while the divorce negotiations are ongoing. At a time when emotions are high and your life is going through major changes, the last thing you want to do is make any decisions that may damage your finances permanently.
Finding a temporary home also lets you buy some time and space to think about what to do next after the divorce. By not committing yourself to a mortgage, you have more options to consider.