My Spouse Wants To Keep The House Until The Children Graduate High School-Is That A Good Idea?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediator;s California divorce mediatorsTrying to keep the marital house for the sake of the children is admirable and generally intended to be in their best interests, particularly during the instability of divorce and the adjustment of their life thereafter. However, there are real considerations that have to be weighed in order to determine whether it is wise to enter into such agreement.

First, you may have difficulty in qualifying for a new property you wish to purchase since you will be listed as a borrower under the existing mortgage for the marital property, thereby affecting your debt ratio that lenders use in qualifying borrowers.

Second, if the spouse remaining in the house makes late payments on the mortgage or defaults on payments, your own credit will also be detrimentally affected and seriously affect your credit score which in turn will affect your ability to borrow or lease anything in the future.

Finally, you will need to have a clear written understanding of what each spouse will be entitled to years from now after Junior has graduated from High School and now the time h
as come to sell the house. After all, should the spouse that did not keep the house still be entitled to one‐half of the equity in the property at the time of sale, or at the time of the divorce? Having a clear agreement is vital to avoiding future, costly problems in how to divide a property sold years after the divorce was over.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact California Divorce Mediators at (949) 553-0911 or at

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”