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Fighting to keep the family home in lieu of a pension

By Carolyn Gwynn

Posted on December 15, 2013 in Your Home

I read an article in The Telegraph earlier this year titled “Top five financial mistakes women make in divorce” and number 1 on the list:

Fighting to keep the family home in lieu of a pension

Women often have an emotional attachment to the family home, especially when there are children involved. However, taking on the whole mortgage can have disastrous financial consequences if it is not affordable. Mary Waring, a financial adviser at Informed Choice Financial Planning, said women are often better off downsizing to a smaller property and taking a share of their partner’s pension. Ms Waring said: “Wives often ignore pensions and focus on the house but in many cases that is not the right thing to do. It is important to ensure you have something to support your retirement, especially if you have been a stay at home mom.”

Of course every situation is different.  Many times in divorce the woman is an equal or main breadwinner, but in the majority of divorces they are not.  Women in transition may have a long list of reasons for keeping the family home.  Those reasons are very real.  However it’s best to speak with a professional to ensure you are not sacrificing future stability for that big house.  Women going through divorce may place too much emphasis on “appearances” and wanting to keep the family home for the children.  Sitting down with a financial planner and doing projections is the best advice I can give my Clients when deciding whether to stay in the family home or go somewhere more financially comfortable.  Financial strain can be crippling and much more harmful to a child than relocating.