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Selling Real Estate Due To Divorce

Posted Sunday, February 15, 2015

In addition to the emotional toll of a divorce, there can be financial consequences as well. One of those often involves having to sell real estate.

Deciding whether to sell

Whether or not you have to sell your home during a divorce can depend on a number of factors. For example, if you have children, a judge may determine that it's best for them to stay in the home along with the custodial parent. If one spouse bought the house and the other spouse's name is not on the deed, that spouse may have less of a claim.

Options for selling

The best and easiest way to sell the home is for one spouse to release his or her claim in the home by filing a quitclaim deed. If both names are on the mortgage, then the spouse remaining in the home will have to be able to qualify for a mortgage on his or her own salary and also be able to pay the spouse who is leaving his or her share of the equity.

The most common outcome of a divorce, however, is that the couple that is splitting up will have to sell the home and split the proceeds. This generally happens when neither spouse wants to stay in the home, neither spouse can afford the home or the two both want the home and can't come to an agreement on who gets to keep it.


Even if both spouses can work out a deal to sell the home amicably, there are still many issues to be worked out. For example, the parties will have to agree on a price, whether a real estate agent will be hired and how showings will be handled.

There are other considerations as well. For example, if one spouse continues to live in the home and pay the mortgage, that person may feel entitled to a larger share of any proceeds from the sale. It is better to work out these and other details in a cordial manner rather than going to court and allowing a judge to decide.

Ultimately, the decision to sell real estate due to a divorce is one fraught with pitfalls. It is an important decision that has both financial and emotional undertones and can be difficult to do even in the most amicable divorces. Putting emotions aside will allow both parties to get the most benefit.