Should you sell the house after getting divorced?

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Property Division on Thursday, January 10, 2013.

Many couples struggle with divorce for several different reasons. When a couple owns a home together, divorce can become more complicated, especially during a slow economy.

What should a couple getting divorced do with their house? There are a few different options for divorcing couples who own property together. It is important for couples to consider all of their options before making a decision on what to do with their house because it can have a long-term impact on the rest of their lives.

One option is for the couple to sell the house and share the profit from selling the home. Usually the money will be split evenly between the couple but sometimes a formula is used by legal counsel to split the assets from selling the house.

In today's slow housing market, it may not be in the best interest for the couple to sell the house right now. There are other options available if the housing market is down or if one person wants to remain living in the house.

Some couples decide that one person will remain living in the house. In order for that to happen, only one person can retain ownership of the house. Many couples decide to have an appraisal done by a neutral party to give them the current value of the home. The person who wants to remain owning the home then pays the other person half of the appraised value of the home.

A third option for couples getting divorced is to lease the home to someone else. This allows the couple to receive money to hopefully pay the full cost of the monthly mortgage so they can both move out and live on their own. Some leases allow for the new tenant to buy the home in the future, usually within a set amount of time. This may be a good option for couples who are not comfortable selling their home or cannot make a profit due to the slow housing market.

Deciding what to do with the house during divorce can be a very difficult, emotional issue and it should not be taken lightly. Couples getting divorced are encouraged to consider all of their options and how they would benefit from them before making any final decisions.

Source: Professor's House, "Selling a House Due to a Divorce"

Our law firm helps couples going through divorce, including options for couples who own property. To learn more about our law firm, please visit our property division page.