Go Back To Article List

Reasons to Sell a House when Divorcing

Posted Monday, August 3, 2015

If you and your spouse are divorcing, you may be asking yourself, "will I have to sell my house?" That likely will depend on the terms of the divorce and the financial situation of the divorcing spouses. However, houses often do get sold in a divorce, for a number of reasons.

The parties can't agree on who will keep the house

One of the biggest reasons houses wind up getting sold during a divorce is that the divorcing couple can't come to an agreement on who gets to keep the house. Divorces are emotional as well as legal events, and two people who have a lot of animosity toward each other may not be able to give in on this point. A couple that has children may be more willing to keep the house with the person who has custody, but for a divorcing couple without children, the house can be a main point of battle.

No one can afford to keep the house

Both parties in a divorce may wish to keep the family home, but it may wind up being impossible due to their financial situations. If they had relied on two incomes to be able to afford the house, it may not be financially feasible for one of them to afford the payments after the divorce. Another financial wrinkle is that the person who would get to keep the house may have to buy out the other spouse's equity position in the home, which can make it even more difficult to afford it.

It's easier

Selling a house as part of a divorce may just be easier, both financially and emotionally. Keeping the house can mean holding onto both good and bad memories for the remaining spouse, which can make it hard to move on and start a new life. From a more practical standpoint, there are many hoops to jump through on the financial side. The spouse keeping the home will have to refinance and get a new mortgage while the spouse not staying in the home will have to file a quitclaim deed to give up his or her interest in the home.

If you are going through a divorce, you may think, "I don't want to sell my house," but that often can be the best decision. It can allow both spouses to get a new start and can make the best sense financially.