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What should you do with your family home during divorce?

During a divorce, couples have several options regarding what to do with their house. Each option comes with its advantages and disadvantages, and the most suitable choice depends on the specific circumstances each person is facing and their hopes for the future.

If you’re divorcing, you want to consider some common options to address this scenario so that you can better determine what will work best for your family. Below, you’ll find some simplified explanations of common approaches employed by many divorcing couples facing situations like yours.

Sell the house

Selling the house and adding the proceeds to the marital estate (which is then to be divided equitably) is generally a (relatively) straightforward and fair option. It provides a clean break and allows both spouses to move on with their lives independently. The proceeds from the sale, which may be substantial, can then be split up. It’s easier to divide financial assets than interests in real estate.

Buy out the other’s share

In some cases, one spouse may still want the house. You may want it, for instance, while your spouse wants to sell. As a solution, you may choose to buy out your spouse’s interest in the property, perhaps by giving up an equal share of other martial assets. This option may be particularly attractive if you actively want to remain in the house, especially if there are children involved and maintaining stability is essential. You can refinance the mortgage to remove your ex’s name.


Some couples may decide to continue co-owning their home moving forward, even after the divorce has been finalized. This is more common when the market is unfavorable for sellers and waiting to sell can yield a better return on a couple’s initial investment. If you’re interested in this, note that co-ownership arrangements benefit from clear agreements concerning responsibilities and expenses.

Exploring your options

Property division can be complex. You need to understand your options and think about the long-term implications of each before committing to a particular approach. Seeking legal guidance can allow you to benefit from support as you make a plan and as your divorce case unfolds.

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