Lots of married couples in the Kansas City area from all walks of life own a house in common. Many times, these houses are not only an important financial investment but also a place associated with lots of memories and strong emotions.

For these and other reasons, who gets to keep the martial residence is often a topic of contention in a divorce or legal separation on either side of the Missouri River. Some people may even go in to the property division process determined to do whatever they legally can to remain in the marital home and become sole owner of the property.

In some cases, this determination is well-placed. However, that depends on one’s circumstances. In many other cases, trying to hang on to the house can in the long run prove to be a huge financial, and legal, mistake.

What can get lost in the shuffle of one’s decision to keep the house is the very practical reality that houses cost money. Usually, the person who keeps the house is also going to pay for all or part of the mortgage, as well as for the taxes, insurance and upkeep on the home.

Especially since divorce and separation or financially traumatic in so many other ways, one needs to ask himself honestly whether he is going to be able to afford the home and otherwise do what it takes to keep it. Otherwise, a person can wind up having to sell the house he worked so hard, and traded so much, in order to keep.

In some cases, the house can even cause further legal trouble in one’s family law matter, such if the new owner finds she cannot refinance the property solely in her own name even though she agreed to do so.

One should not assume that he should fight for the marital home at all costs or that he has lost something by giving it up. Instead, whether to keep the house is a question a person facing divorce or separation should discuss with his attorney.