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Tips for Splitting Home Value During a Divorce

Whenever a couple gets divorced, the two spouses must decide how they will split their assets. The value of the home is part of this — whether one person will remain in the family home or you will choose to sell, both of you will have some stake in the home if it was purchased during the course of your marriage or if you were both parties to the mortgage agreement.

Below is a quick overview of the three main ways to handle a home in a divorce.

Sell the house and divide the profits

The easiest way to divide the equity of the home is to sell off the house. After you cover the taxes, mortgage debt and all expenses related to the sale, you can split the remaining money. This can add some simplicity to your divorce process, though it may take some negotiating to determine exactly how the money will be split. A 50/50 arrangement may or may not be the best solution for your situation.

One person keeps the house

In this method, the best way for one person to maintain sole ownership of the house is to refinance. This will remove the other person from the mortgage, pay off outstanding mortgage debt to replace the old mortgage with a new one, and free up some cash to allow you to buy out your ex-spouse.

Keep in mind that under this arrangement you will need to qualify for the mortgage based solely on one income, which might be difficult depending on how much of the mortgage was still to be paid off.

Both spouses keep the house

In some cases, the timing isn’t right to sell off the house, so both maintain ownership — at least for a time. During this time, one spouse might move out but still assist in paying the mortgage or one party may pay the mortgage alone. The couple might also choose to keep the house as a rental property and split the revenue from that arrangement.

For more tips and guidance on splitting the value of a house in a divorce, consult an experienced Minnesota family law attorney with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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