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Decide living arrangements early in divorce process

New Jersey couples deciding to separate or end a marriage must make important decisions about their living arrangements during and after the divorce. Each individual must balance individual desires with the logistical and financial reality of their situation in order to reach an informed decision. Unfortunately, the timing of these decisions coincides with some of the most emotionally challenging periods of the divorce process.

In an ideal situation, one party would maintain possession of the marital home at the end of a marriage. If children are involved, familiar residential surroundings can be a source of comfort and stability during turbulent times. Adult neighbors can provide child care and comfort as newly single parents adjust. A complicating factor can be financing if either parent is unable to assume the mortgage with just one income, so thinking of this early enough in the process to get pre-qualified can inform negotiating strategies. Other financial factors to consider are budgets for home maintenance and other necessary expenses such as lawn care and insurance.

Some divorcing parties are eager to start over in a new location, even if it is just down the block or across town. The appeal of a fresh start is understandable but can lead to impulsive decisions. It is prudent to balance the interests of children against desires of adults and focus on school districts, extracurricular involvements and even the commute time to the other parent's house as these are all things with stronger impact on children than adults. For many, the best solution in the wake of divorce is a period of renting while establishing a comfort zone with the changed reality.

Housing is just one of many decisions in the divorce process. Consulting a qualified family law attorney about property division and other concerns may help provide insight to anyone considering marital dissolution.

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