What Happens to the House in a Divorce?

November 14, 2022

Selling the House


One of the most common things that happens to the house in a divorce is that it gets sold. This is usually done so that both spouses can walk away from the marriage with a clean slate and move on with their lives. It can also be a good option if you’re not able to come to an agreement on who will keep the house. Selling the house also allows you to split any equity that has been built up over the course of your marriage. Equity is what remains after the mortgage is paid off and you have paid the costs of selling your house. Warning: the costs of a sale are about 10% of your listing price.


Renting the House/Becoming a Landlord


Another option for what happens to the house in a divorce is that one spouse can keep ownership of the property and rent it out to their ex. This can be a good option if you’re not ready to sell the house or if you want to keep it as an investment property. It’s important to note, however, that renting out your home after a divorce can come with its own set of challenges. For example, you’ll need to figure out how to handle things like maintenance and repairs. You’ll also need to make sure that your mortgage company is okay with you renting out the property.


Equity and Refinancing Options


If you have built up equity in your home, there are a few different things you can do with it in a divorce. One option is for one spouse to buy out the other spouse’s share of equity. Another option is for one spouse to refinance the mortgage in their name only and buy out their ex’s share of equity that way.You could also choose to assume responsibility for the mortgage and keep making payments even though your name isn’t on the loan. This last option is generally not recommended by divorce lawyers since it leaves you on the hook for the mortgage even if your ex defaults or stops making payments. This will require qualifying for a new loan based on your income and credit score. You’ll also need to have enough equity in the property to qualify for refinancing.




In some cases, one party may be able to assume responsibility for the mortgage and keep the house. This option is usually only available if there is no delinquency on the mortgage and if both parties agree to it. Check with your lender to see if this option is available to you.


Now that you know what your options are, you can start planning for your next chapter with confidence. When you are ready to make it official, reach out to my office or contact me through my website so I can handle all of the paperwork.