For couples who are divorcing, selling the family home may seem like the most optimal option–or the worst, depending on each party’s perspective. In either case, there is no doubt that dividing up the family home during a divorce can be a contentious process. At the office of Heather Ward Law, our experienced divorce attorney can help you to understand your options, the pros and cons of selling a home during a divorce, and how to protect your best interests.
Should We Sell Our Home During a Divorce?
Before a divorce can be finalized, a divorcing couple will need to make some tough decisions about various issues in the divorce, including how property should be divided. One of the biggest assets about which a decision must be made is that of a family home. If you’re on the fence about what you should do, consider some of your options:
- Sell the home, pay off the rest of the mortgage, and split the proceeds;
- Keep the home, and have one party continue to live in the home and pay rent to the other owner or give up their share of the home in exchange for another asset;
- Sell the home to one party, with one party to the divorce essentially “buying out” the other party;
- Rent the home and split the proceeds from the rental;
- Share the home and purchase/rent a second home that is also shared–this is a choice that is often selected by parents who are practicing ‘birdnesting’, where the child lives in the primary family home, and parents (who are sharing custody) transition in and out of that home.
What Does the Law Say About Dividing a Family Home?
When a couple is divorcing, there is no specific law that tells the couple what they need to do with a shared home. Rather, the law simply says that all marital property–that is, property acquired during the course of the marriage–needs to be divided equitably. Any of the above options for dividing a home are feasible and may be appropriate depending on your situation.
Note that if you are selling the home, doing so during the divorce process can be complicated, as you will both need to agree about various aspects of the sale, such as how much your list price will be. You may also need to come to an agreement about who will live where when listing the house/while the sale is pending, how proceeds from the house will be split (equally or in another way?), and more.
Talk to an Attorney When Getting a Divorce
If you are getting a divorce and you and your spouse have a home to deal with, it’s smart to speak with a divorce attorney who has helped couples navigate similar issues in the past and can advise you. Remember, if the home is jointly owned, what happens to it needs to be a joint decision. To learn more about selling a home in a divorce and how Attorney Heather M. Ward can help, please call our law firm directly at (617) 903-8955 or send a confidential message online today.