The word "divorce" can create uneasiness in most everyone. Divorce presents change and choices, including some that we would rather not make. Topping the list of changes is often whether the place we call home will change.
For many women, our homes are the foundation of family life and a safe harbor from everyday demands. Because of our unique role in the family, we typically have stronger emotional attachments than our husbands toward the marital home. As a result, to sell, buy, rent or stay in a home can be emotionally and financially wrenching.
Be very careful with the conclusion about your next home choice, and don’t fall prey to bullying or intimidation. You are not alone in working toward an informed decision that’s right for you. Investigate what your options are, even if you are being told you have no options. It is often thought that the easiest and best decision is to sell your home and wipe the slate clean, which can ironically be the hardest and completely wrong choice.
Women are usually primary caregivers in the family and their work history and income reflect that. Women often leave the workforce to care for children, and scale back or leave again to support aging parents. Even in 2019, the financial situation can be challenging for working women. For every dollar a man earns, a woman averages just 79 cents.
These facts can present a hurdle for women facing divorce as they anticipate the simultaneous family shift to principal caretaker and financial provider. Don’t be intimidated by this feeling. Consult with a financial professional, Realtor, or loan originator for a clear picture of your financial position. If your finances are not currently compatible with your goals, make some changes. Be proactive to create a specific plan to get you where you want to go. With the support of your divorce team you can do this!
Anticipate that divorce is a time of transition; everyone in the family experiences upheaval. The need for stability is heightened, especially for children who benefit significantly from familiar surroundings and social circles. A sense of continuity and security is crucial, so if your housing changes, concentrate on your network of support to create another source of continuity. You can also reach out to divorce support groups and associates who have experienced divorce. Create a new community which can be rich with shared experiences. Take advantage of the Wildflower Group online divorce support group to gather advice from women who have been there.
For some divorcing women, finding a new home that is equal to their existing one may not be economically feasible. So renting is often the perfect next step. It’s not a forever decision and may allow you the relief of less responsibility until your finances are more compatible with your housing goals.
Believe that you can take control of this situation and make an informed decision. Take a deep breath and slow the process. Alert your legal and financial advisers, as well as your family members that you won’t be rushed or pressured. Create a team of professionals, including a Realtor and lender, to advise you about your options.
The choice and motivations to stay, sell, or rent will be different for everyone. Your decision should provide peace of mind as you transition to your new life, and bring with it a sense of empowerment.