What to Do With Real Estate When Getting Divorced

Divorce is no easy topic to talk about. No matter if you’re glad for the split or devastated, divorce can be extremely hard. Sharing property usually only complicates the matter.

Nevertheless, if you’re trying to figure out what to do with your house during a divorce, let this blog serve as a guide. No matter what route you go down, know that we at RealtyHive are thinking of you, and wish you all the best.

Option 1: Continue owning the home together.

Sometimes marriages end amicably (or at the very least, without too much bitterness or resentment). If that’s the case, continuing to co-own your home isn’t out of the ballpark for dealing with real estate during a divorce.

This can work really well if it’s for a rental home or other investment property. It’s significantly more challenging (though not impossible) to navigate if it’s the home you’re both currently living in. Keep in mind that your emotional well-being is of the utmost importance. Don’t feel the need to force co-ownership if it’s more hassle than harmonious.

Option 2: One person stays in the house.

If both parties are deadset on staying in the house, here are a few scenarios to keep in mind.

When Kids Are Involved

While custody battles can be nightmarish, children often make determining who stays in the house at least a little easier. Typically, the parent who spends the most time with the kids (or who’s granted the majority of custody) will be allowed to stay in the house, if the house is in both parties’ names.

When One Person Owns the House

If the house is property of just one person, they might have the right to stay in the house. Separate property and a person’s right to them depends on the state you live in and date of purchase (see “equitable distribution” below).

When Both People Own the House (and Don’t Have Kids)

You and your spouse might reach an agreement of who gets to live in (and potentially own) the house. If that’s the case, good for both of you and your ability to effectively mediate.

However, many people are not in that boat, and that’s OK. Laws on real estate and divorce vary from state to state, which brings us to Option 3:

Option 3: Sell the house.

For the record, selling your house is not a last resort, nor is it a failure. Houses can unfortunately serve as painful reminders of memories you once shared. It’s completely fine — not to mention, usually recommended — to sell and start fresh.

How selling a house in divorce works depends on the state you live in.

Community Property

If divorcing in a state that practices community property, all property of a married person is determined as community or separate property by a judge. Community property is typically divided between the divorcing couple. Any properties deemed “separate” stay with the spouse that it belongs to (ex. a husband buys a hunting cabin in his name).

The practice of splitting community property is found in the following states:

Equitable Distribution

All other states practice equitable distribution. This means that any property gained during the marriage is divided equitably between parties. Separate property is usually taken into account as well when dividing real estate.

You might be tempted to put your home on the market in the traditional manner of selling a house. Here’s why you want to sell with RealtyHive instead:

  • Faster: Your house could sit on the market for months or longer if you sell your house the old-fashioned way. Our time-limited events are exactly that — time-limited, so that you can move on faster.
  • Risk-Free. Home doesn’t sell right away? You don’t pay until your home is sold. Had a change of heart and no longer want to sell? You don’t have to accept an offer!
  • Reduce Carrying Costs. Selling faster not only helps you start fresh sooner, it reduces your time paying for mortgage, insurance, etc.

You deserve to move on. You don’t deserve to feel shackled to the past and to a home that symbolizes something you’re no longer a part of. Work with RealtyHive to sell your home during a divorce, and to start the next chapter of your life.

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