For many couples seeking a divorce, the biggest battle they will have with one another will stem from the ownership or possession of their marital home. It’s common for both spouses to want to assert their right to stay in the marital home. People often view retaining the home as a sign of winning in the divorce.

However, asset division during a divorce in Connecticut isn’t a process that you can win or lose. Instead, it is meant to be as fair as possible to everyone involved. Retaining the home isn’t a sign of winning, as the courts will offset its value with other assets. Before you start fighting for the home, you need to ask yourself some important questions.

Can you afford the home on your own?

If the courts decide to let you stay in the home, they will generally expect you to refinance the property. Doing so will allow you to remove your ex both from the deed and the mortgage simultaneously. You will typically have to cash out some of the equity in the home to pay your spouse for their share of the property.

That could mean that your mortgage payment after divorce will be substantially higher than the one before. Are you in a situation where you can reasonably pay your existing mortgage or a higher amount? Is your credit good enough to carry a mortgage on your own? If your answer to either of these questions is no, maintaining the marital home may not be your best option.

Do you have kids, and if so, who has custody?

Staying in the marital home as much as possible can make the transition to life after divorce easier on kids, especially younger children or kids with special needs. If you don’t intend to request shared or primary custody of your children, it may be in their best interests for you to allow your ex to stay in the home and provide as much stability as possible for the kids.