October 12, 2021

What Happens to the Family Home in Divorce?

What happens to the family home in divorce? This is a question many divorcing couples likely ask themselves. Understanding the various options for dividing a family home during divorce can help divorcing couples navigate the oftentimes emotional process of splitting up assets including their home.

What happens to the family home in divorce?

There are a couple of different options for how to approach dividing the family home in divorce.

  • Sell the home and split the proceeds: The simplest way to divide a family home during divorce is to sell the home and divide the proceeds between the divorcing spouses. Selling the home and dividing the proceeds of the sale is the easiest way to divide the equity in the home. It can be a challenge to sell the home in some circumstances but when the spouses are able, it can be the simplest way to divide the family home.
  • One spouse buys out the other spouse: If one spouse wants to remain the home, the cleanest option is for the spouse staying the house to buy the other spouse out. The divorcing spouses will need a valuation of the home to calculate the buyout price. It is best for the spouse remaining in the home to refinance the home. In some situations, if the spouse staying in the home is unable to buy out the other spouse’s interest, they may be able to make payments toward it.
  • The divorcing couple maintains joint ownership of the home: In some situations, the divorcing couple may agree for one spouse to remain in the home with minor children until they are grown. The divorcing spouses will have to decide how expenses are shared including how household expenses will be split such as mortgage payments, home improvements and major repairs. Typically, the spouse remaining in the home will be responsible for minor repairs, taxes, utilities and insurance.

Making informed decisions

Regardless of which option the divorcing couple decides is best for them, they should be familiar with the different options. The divorce process can help divorcing couples take on challenges like property division and how to divide a family home.