Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful times in your life. If you own a home together it can add quite a bit of stress to the situation. Every couple has a different situation when going through a divorce so you’ll want to consider your options if you have to sell a home.
If You Have Children, Consider Keeping the Home
If you have children, it might be best to keep the home if you can. Keeping life stable for children and not uprooting them from their home can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety they will go through while their parents are divorcing. This will allow them to stay where they feel safe. They will have the same bedrooms, will live in the same neighborhood, can continue to be around their friends and can continue to attend the schools they always have. Perhaps you can continue to co-own the home or one parent can “buy out” the other parent.
Continue to Co-Own the Home
If you decide to continue to co-own the home, be sure to make it clear who will live there, who will make the mortgage payments, who will pay the bills, who will be financially responsible for paying for repairs and more. A home is a major investment and if you’re both responsible for maintaining that investment it’s best to have a clearly written plan. It’s also a good idea to decide ahead of time the length of time you will both continue to own the home together. For example, it might be a good idea to decide ahead of time to sell the home once all of the children graduate from high school.
One Spouse “Buys Out” the Other Spouse
If it isn’t feasible to continue to co-own the home and one spouse can afford the home, perhaps he or she can “buy out” the other spouse. This is another good option instead of having to sell a home while going through a divorce. The best way to do this is to get a market analysis from a few real estate professionals to decide the price of the home. Then work the numbers for a fair price for one spouse to buy the home from the other spouse. This should take into consideration the equity that has been built up in the home before the divorce. Typically this is paid in one lump sum and the spouse keeping the home refinances it in his or her name only. Then the other spouse will sign a quitclaim deed so that the house is deeded over entirely to the other spouse.
Sell the House
The most common scenario when going through a divorce is to sell a home. Be sure to get a market analysis from an experienced and reputable real estate professional. Contact me if you need an experienced professional to provide a market analysis and list your home for sale.