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Uncertainty Over Marital Home as Asset During Tough Economic Times

The Great Recession and the housing crisis may have rewritten the rules on whether the marital home should be viewed as an asset – at least temporarily. People going through divorce in Pennsylvania like other places in the country hit by the housing crisis have to decide whether their former marital home is an asset or a liability.

In some cases, one former spouse may decide that the house is an asset, but may not be ready to take on the financial responsibilities of the house on one income. Even when couples decide that the marital home is a liability, former spouses can still disagree on the selling price. The disagreement over the selling price may lead to a missed opportunity to sell the home at a reasonable market price and thereby cause further financial injury.

Pennsylvania Man Torches House Over Marital Home Dispute

Sometimes, divorcing individuals do not want their former spouse to reap any financial benefit during the division of assets phase of divorce. In an extreme case, a Pennsylvania man burned down his and his former wife’s marital home rather than allowing her to receive proceeds from the sale of the house under the divorce agreement. According to the Houston Chronicle, he then made matters worse by filing an insurance claim for $160,000. The fire has already been deemed as arson by a state fire marshal.

Housing Debt, Children and the Marital Home

The process of going through a divorce is a stressful time for the whole family and financial matters compound anxiety. Many couples going through divorce and division of property in Pennsylvania face the question of whether either of the former spouses can continue to afford the marital home. In addition, the marital home is the basis for many concerns regarding children in divorce. The retention of the marital home may represent a source of continuity in an ever-changing familial environment. For children, a new home may represent a new school and the challenge to meet new friends.

Housing debt has complicated the divorce process for couples across the nation. According to Business Insider, the majority of the members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers have seen an increase in divorce settlement complications caused by housing debt over the last years. More than 50 percent of the members also noted an increase in the number of child custody relocation requests.

While it is important to balance the needs of children during divorce, it is equally if not more important to determine whether the marital home will be a financial bomb to the parent who retains it. To help determine the best choice regarding the marital home in your divorce, contact an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney.