Your questions depends on so many factors. I would suggest that when you do speak with your mediator, you ask about bringing in either a real estate co-mediator/neutral consultant or a financial planner/CPA co-mediator/neutral consultant, or both, or that you seek individual counsel from such professional(s). If the goal is to hold on to the property until values go back up, ask yourself "back up to what?" Most realtors agree that the values we saw 4 years ago were a complete fluke - which is why the bubble burst in such a grand way. If that's what you're waiting for, you'll be waiting a long time. If the goal is to hold on to the property to keep a stable home environment for the kids, you do need more information on how this will be structured (can you afford it, what about maintenance, taxes, repairs?). Don't be afraid to ask this question in your mediation. I work with many private mediators in Orange County and the experienced ones will raise these questions. You may also want to consider talking to an attorney who can act as your consultant - just be sure to find someone who understands your goal of a peaceful resolution. If you hire a litigator, you have a greater chance of ending up in court battle. It's important to understand the law as it applies to you. It is just as important to have someone problem-solve with you to achieve your ultimate goals.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
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