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Mowery Youell & Galeano, LTD. Attorneys at Law
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Is renovating real estate a relationship reality check?

Renovating a home has become much more common these days, but it is a big project to undertake. “Renovations cause more stress on a marriage than having a newborn child,” said one real estate broker. “That’s what I’ve come to believe.” Real estate experts have even noticed a correlation between newly renovated homes and divorce.

For some couples, it is the last attempt, a way to try to do something together and turn the marriage around. The project often goes one of two ways; either it ends well or it doesn’t. The broker mentioned above said that it isn’t just relationships that are already on the rocks that are affected. Couples have to work together to complete a renovation, and it often causes animosity in happy relationships.

Picturing the dream home is the easy part, but getting there requires a lot of effort and decisions. Frustrations over how the details are handled can cause strife in a relationship.

For instance, one wife remembers an ongoing fight over picking out a dinner table. For her, it was the place where the family would come together every day. For him, it was just a table. She wanted him to care more about the decision.

At times, the argument isn’t about the table but instead exposing feelings in the relationship. Other times, it is about a disagreement in style or how the money should be spent.

On the other end, a renovation can bring a couple together. An ex-husband discussed his renovation as a shared accomplishment, a good memory to look back on. The pair had come together against a difficult contractor, found adventure in brushing their teeth in the sink before the project was complete and enjoyed the end result.

Even though the couple later divorced, it wasn’t due to the renovation. In fact, the husband found that the positivity and increased value made it easier to move out of the place and sell it as a part of the divorce property settlement.

Real estate is often one of the most valuable assets that couples own, and dividing the asset isn’t as easy as splitting a cash sum in half. Emotions, housing market considerations and more can make splitting real estate more complicated, but an Ohio divorce attorney can help.

Source: New York Observer, “Until Decorating Do Us Part: When Renovations End in Divorce,” Kim Velsey, March 12, 2014

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