What Happens When You Divorce and You Own a Home Together? Understanding the Fate of Jointly Owned Property

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Deciding what happens to a jointly owned home after divorce can be bewildering and emotional. A striking reality is that even if you’re no longer together, you still might end up co-owning the house.

This article will guide you through your options, potential risks, and benefits of each choice when navigating this complex situation. Read on to uncover how best to handle property division whilst ensuring financial security post-divorce.

Key Takeaways

  • When you divorce and own a home together, you have options for what happens to the property: continue co-owning, sell and divide profits, or rent it out.
  • Co – owning the house after divorce has advantages like stability for kids and shared expenses, but there can be risks like conflicts over payments and maintenance.
  • Factors to consider when deciding who keeps the house include child custody arrangements, financial ability to buy out the other spouse, and maintaining cash flow.
  • Seeking legal help is important to understand property division laws and navigate complex issues during a divorce.

What Happens to Jointly Owned Property in a Divorce?

In a divorce, options for jointly owned property include continuing to co-own the house, selling the property and dividing profits, or renting out the property.

Continuing to co-own the house

After a divorce, you may decide to keep owning the house together. Both names stay on the deed and mortgage. It’s like being roommates but with more ties to each other. This choice is not for everyone, as it needs trust and good planning between both sides.

Still, some find this way helps in keeping things stable for kids or saving money. But you must be careful! Co-owning can lead to fights if one person falls behind on payments, or if both people don’t agree on home fixes or who lives there.

It is best to have clear talks and maybe even write down rules before choosing this path.

Situations where it may be beneficial

There are situations where it can be beneficial to continue co-owning a house after a divorce. For example, if there are children involved, keeping the family home can provide them with stability and familiarity during this difficult time.

It can also be financially advantageous if both parties cannot afford to buy or rent separate homes. Co-ownership allows for shared expenses and may increase the chance of building equity in the property over time.

However, it’s important to consider the risks as well, such as ongoing conflicts and disagreements about maintenance or financial responsibilities.

Advantages and risks of co-ownership

Co-owning a house after a divorce has both advantages and risks. One advantage is that it allows both parties to continue living in the home they shared during their marriage, which can be beneficial for children or for maintaining stability.

Co-ownership also means sharing the financial burden of mortgage payments and maintenance costs. However, there are risks involved too. If one party stops making mortgage payments or incurs debt on the property, it could negatively impact the other’s credit score and financial situation.

Additionally, disagreements about repairs or selling the house can lead to conflict between co-owners. It’s important to consider these factors before deciding to co-own property after a divorce.

Other Options for Jointly Owned Property After Divorce

After a divorce, there are several options for jointly owned property, including sale-leaseback arrangements, selling the property and dividing the profits, or renting out the property.

Sale-leaseback arrangement

In a divorce, a sale-leaseback arrangement is one option for jointly owned property. This means that one spouse sells their share of the property to the other spouse and then leases it back from them.

The selling spouse gets their portion of the equity, while the buying spouse becomes the sole owner. This can be beneficial if one spouse wants to keep living in the house but doesn’t have enough money to buy out the other’s share.

It allows them to stay in their home while providing financial compensation to their ex-spouse.

Selling the property and dividing profits

When you and your ex-spouse decide to sell the property you owned together, the profits from the sale will be divided between both of you. This division is usually based on each person’s ownership percentage, which can be determined by looking at the title or deed.

For example, if both of your names are on the title and you each have a 50% ownership stake, then you would receive 50% of the profits from selling the house. It’s important to note that any outstanding mortgage or liens on the property will need to be paid off first before dividing the remaining funds.

If there are disagreements about how to divide the profits or if one party refuses to cooperate, it may be necessary to involve a mediator or go to court for resolution. In these cases, a judge will consider various factors such as financial contributions and future needs in order to determine a fair division of proceeds.

It is also advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in divorce and property matters for guidance throughout this process.

In conclusion, when jointly owned property is sold during a divorce, both parties should agree on how they want to divide the profits fairly. If an agreement cannot be reached amicably, legal intervention may become necessary.

Renting out the property

After a divorce, another option for jointly owned property is renting it out. This can be beneficial if both parties are not yet ready to sell the property or if they want to continue benefiting from rental income.

Renting out the property allows for shared financial responsibility and can help maintain cash flow to cover mortgage payments and other expenses. However, it’s important to consider the potential risks of being landlords, such as finding reliable tenants and dealing with maintenance issues.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Who Keeps the House

When deciding who keeps the house after a divorce, factors such as child custody arrangements, financial ability to buy out the other spouse, and maintaining cash flow to maintain the property should be carefully considered.

Curious about how these factors play into determining ownership? Read on to find out more!

Child custody arrangements

During a divorce, child custody arrangements can have an impact on what happens to jointly owned property. The court will consider the best interests of the children when deciding who gets to keep the house.

If one parent is awarded primary custody, they may be more likely to remain in the home with the children. However, it’s important to note that child custody decisions are separate from property division decisions and will be made based on what is deemed best for the kids.

Financial ability to buy out the other spouse

One important factor to consider when deciding who keeps the house in a divorce is the financial ability to buy out the other spouse. If one party wishes to remain in the home and take full ownership, they will need to have enough money or access to financing to pay off their ex-spouse’s share of the property.

This can include paying for their portion of equity or taking over their share of any outstanding mortgage. It’s crucial for individuals to carefully assess their financial situation and determine if they have the means to handle this responsibility before making any decisions about keeping the house.

Maintaining cash flow to maintain the property

To maintain a jointly owned property after divorce, it’s important to have enough money coming in. This means considering the costs of mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

Each party should carefully assess their financial situation to determine if they can afford these expenses on their own. It may be necessary to explore options like refinancing the mortgage or seeking additional income sources to ensure that cash flow is maintained and the property can be properly taken care of.

Seeking Legal Help for Dividing Jointly Owned Property

Seeking legal assistance can provide valuable guidance in navigating the complex process of dividing jointly owned property, especially when it comes to understanding the difference between community property and equitable distribution.

Understanding community property vs equitable distribution

In a divorce, the way property is divided can depend on whether you live in a community property or equitable distribution state. In community property states, like California and Texas, assets acquired during the marriage are generally considered owned equally by both spouses.

This means that they will be split evenly between them in a divorce. On the other hand, in equitable distribution states, such as New York and Florida, assets are divided based on what is fair or equitable rather than strictly equal.

Factors such as each spouse’s financial contributions and future needs are taken into account when dividing property. So it’s important to understand which type of state you live in to know how your jointly owned property may be divided if you get divorced.

Legal assistance for navigating complex property divisions

Navigating complex property divisions during a divorce can be challenging, which is why seeking legal assistance is crucial. A lawyer who specializes in family law can provide valuable guidance and ensure that your rights are protected.

They will help you understand the difference between community property and equitable distribution, which are two common approaches to dividing assets in a divorce. Additionally, they can assist you in negotiating with your ex-spouse or representing you in court if necessary.

With their expertise, you can navigate the intricacies of property division and work towards a fair resolution for both parties involved.


In conclusion, when you divorce and own a home together, there are various options for what happens to the property. You can continue co-owning the house, sell it and divide the profits, or rent it out.

Factors like child custody arrangements and financial ability should be considered when deciding who keeps the house. Seeking legal help is important to understand property division laws and navigate complex issues.

Overall, understanding the fate of jointly owned property is crucial in ensuring a fair resolution during a divorce.


1. What happens to our house when we get a divorce?

When you divorce and own a home together, the fate of jointly owned property depends on factors like who gets the house, your separation agreement, asset division rules and if you have children.

2. Can we still coown a home after divorce?

Yes! You can decide to continue coowning the house even after your divorce. This is common with couples who have children and want to keep their living situation stable.

3. How do I buy out my spouse’s share in our marital home during a divorce?

To buy out your spouse’s share in the marital home during divorce means you pay them for their part of the property rights. Then, through changing joint ownership of property process such as refinancing or altering deed can transfer the total ownership to you.

4. Can my wife stay in our house after we get divorced?

In most cases, it’s possible for one spouse (like a wife) to stay in the marital home after divorce but it often requires buying out her ex-spouse’s equity or agreeing on other arrangements within their settlement.

5. Who gets more claim over individual properties when married couple divorces?

Individual properties are normally kept by whoever owns them separately unless they were put into joint names or used significantly for family life then courts might view these as communal assets subject for division upon concluding marriage dissolution.

6. How can I keep my house without refinancing during a divorce?

If both parties agree, keeping the marital home without refinancing may require either paying off one person directly over time using other assets from asset division pool or coming up with an arrangement that secures future payments owed towards so-called ‘buyout’.

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Jamie Wilkinson

Hey! My name is Jamie and welcome to Surviving the Day. I'm a jack of all trades but master of none. I love learning new things and living a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, you'll find some of the information I share useful to you and your family. Feel free to drop me a line and I'll be sure to respond!

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