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Should I ask for the house in the divorce or walk away?

I am in the process of divorce after 16 years of marrIage with four children. We bought our house in 2008 and I was sick at the time so it is in his name only sole and separate property.

The house is big enough and it is a great house but we are upside-down about 70k. I can manage the payments although I would like for them to be less. If it wasn’t upside down I would definitely ask for the house.

Should I take the hit on the negative equity and ride it out or should I move out and find another place comparable for the 70k less. I could get another house the same size but without a pool and it would be about $500 less a month.

Obviously the pool is a big deal for me. The house I am looking at is three blocks away as to not upset the childrens routine too much. The bank will not sell me my current house at short sale at the current market value even after divorce is final.

I am trying to determine if it is crazy to assume the negative equity.

Any suggestions?


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  • David Godin

    If you make enough to qualify for a new loan you could look into doing a Short Refinance.  It is like a short sale but a refinance.  Most loans that are not guaranteed by the government in some way qualify.  Take the 2 minute test at to see if it is an option for you. 

    • Michael

      Short sales can impede the ability to qualify for another home loan for up to 3 years.

  • Fourx5

    give your husband the negitive equity and start your life over from there. You will have a boat load of problems with the lender while trying to sell or afford that house.

  • Michael

    Hi Abbey,

    It is NEVER a good idea to pay 70k more for something than what it is worth. There is no telling whether the value of the home will decrease further in the current environment. Save the money and if it is within your budget and financial plan, use some of the savings to do other things with/for yourself and the children.

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