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How will divorce affect your housing?

Money matters when you divorce. While it should not be your overriding priority, it will make life more challenging if you fail to secure enough.

One of the biggest expenses people have is housing. According to the property website Zillow, the average American household spends 16.4% of household income on their mortgage or 31.2% on rent. You need to think about how your divorce will affect your ability to meet those payments.

Divorce will bring a reduction in household income

For most couples, divorce means a significant reduction in household income. If you once had two salaries to live on, you will now have one. If you were the sole earner, you might have to reduce the hours you work to perform all the household and child-related tasks your spouse did. If you were the one who stayed at home, you now need to earn your own money, as well as continuing to run a household.

You may need to spend on alternative short term accommodation if you cannot stay under the same roof until you complete your divorce. Once you go your separate ways, you will each need somewhere to live.

Downsizing can help you save a considerable amount of money on housing costs. Yet, running two houses usually costs more than running one because some costs are fixed per property. For instance, you will each need to pay for separate cable and internet subscriptions.

Take time to create a realistic budget that lays out how much you will need to spend on housing and other costs once your marriage ends. It can help justify the settlement you need when negotiating property division or child support payments.