Divorce is a life event that triggers significant changes, especially concerning shared assets like the family home. The decision on how to proceed with the family home carries heavy emotional and financial weight, necessitating a thoughtful and well-planned approach. This blog outlines various strategies for dealing with the family home during a divorce, elaborates on the intricacies of co-ownership, and lists the pros and cons of such an arrangement.

Strategies for Dealing with the Family Home in Divorce

  • Sell the House and Split the Proceeds: Selling the property and dividing the proceeds is a straightforward solution that offers a clean financial break, allowing both parties to start afresh.
  • Buy Out Your Ex: One partner may opt to pay for the other’s equity share, thus taking full ownership of the home. This option keeps the home within the family while providing equity to the departing partner.
  • Exchange the Home for Another Asset: Rather than a direct buyout, you might agree to swap the home for other assets of equivalent value, ensuring both parties leave the negotiation table satisfied.
  • Continue to Co-own the House: For various reasons, some ex-couples choose to retain joint ownership of their home for a specified period.

Detailed Considerations for Co-ownership

  • Duration of Stay: Determine whether one or both parties will remain in the home and for how long.
  • Financial Responsibilities: Clearly delineate who will cover the mortgage, maintenance, and repairs.
  • Tax Considerations: Decide who will claim the mortgage interest deduction.
  • Planning for the Future: Outline plans for unexpected events, like the death of a co-owner or the desire to sell the property.
  • Timeline for a Buyout: Establish a realistic timeline if one party intends to buy out the other.
  • Selling the Property: Agree on when the house will be sold, if applicable.

The Pros and Cons of Co-owning After Divorce


  • Flexibility: Allows time for one spouse to secure financing for a buyout.
  • Stability for Children: Enables children to remain in their familiar environment.
  • Investment Opportunity: The property’s value may increase, offering a better return on investment.


  • Financial Risk: Failing to meet financial obligations can harm both parties’ credit scores.
  • Emotional Difficulty: Managing shared property post-divorce can be challenging.
  • Complex Financial Management: Requires detailed financial planning and decision-making.
  • Potential for Higher Taxes: Co-ownership could lead to unfavorable tax implications.

Key Steps to Finalize Your Decision

  • Agree on Terms: It’s critical to reach a mutual understanding on handling the home, including living arrangements, financial obligations, and future plans.
  • Document Everything in Your Marital Settlement Agreement: This documentation is crucial to avoid future disputes.
  • Get the Home Appraised: Understanding your home’s current market value is essential, whether for selling, buyout purposes, or co-ownership.

Getting the Home Appraised

An appraisal provides an accurate valuation of your property, essential for equitable buyouts or sale pricing. Knowing your home’s worth helps inform your decisions, even if immediate changes in ownership are not planned.


Deciding the fate of a shared home during divorce requires considering your financial status, emotional state, and long-term goals. Whether selling, buying out, trading assets, or co-owning, it’s vital to agree on all terms explicitly to avoid future conflicts. Engaging with professionals can offer valuable guidance and resources tailored to your situation, ensuring you make the best decisions for your future.