Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

Divorce and Home Ownership

Splitting a house during divorceDivorce can bring up a lot of questions. One of the main ones is “what about the house?” A house is not only typically a couple’s largest asset, but it’s also often the asset with the most emotional attachment. Your spouse and you decided that this was where you were going to spend the happiest of times – raising children and building a life. This emotional attachment can make it impossible to let go of and assign a value to. The personal importance of a house can make it the lynchpin of property division negotiations. Here are some common ways the family home is settled in a divorce.

Put the House Up for Sale

If neither spouse wants to stay in the home, or neither spouse can afford to stay in the home, you might want to put it on the market to try to get the best price possible. This can be hard for families because of the moving out process – everything can feel very final and “done.” But often times it’s easier to have the money from the sale than a large asset that reminds them of their divorce.


A house buyout is when a spouse releases hers or his interest in the house – this is in exchange for cash or the promise of cash to be paid in the future. This often happens in instances where the primary caregiver for the children want to stay in the house with the children. There are a lot of intricacies with a buyout – you’ll want to work with a negotiator that can help advise you on this if you feel it’s the best option.


Sometimes a sale nor a buyout will work for your situation. In this case it might be best to consider co-ownership for a predetermined amount of time. This will need to be clearly defined. Essentially, this will redefine your relationship with your spouse – you will now have a business relationship of “co-owners” of the property.

Source: DivorceNet, What to Do With the House When You Divorce, 2014

For questions regarding divorce, contact the Law Offices of Korol and Velen, Certified Family Law Specialists.

Rozanna M. Velen

Blog Author: Attorney Rozanna M. Velen

Rozanna M. Velen received her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and is the co-founder of The Law Offices of Korol and Velen. 

Visit her bio to learn more about her experience, specialties, and accolades.

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