Person removing ring off finger after divorce

Divorce – What to do with the house?

Divorce is a difficult time that can happen to anyone. It is a new phase of life and. Unfortunately, it’s not one of those unpleasant situations you can simply walk away from. 

One of the biggest duties of divorcees is to divide their shared assets and property. When one of these properties include a shared living space, it adds to the complications. 

Determining the future living arrangements can be a daunting task. Although it is a rather urgent problem, it can be overwhelming for individuals to come to an agreement on what is best. 

Taking the time to carefully explore your options rather than acting on impulse can help you and your ex make an informed decision that is best for you in the long run. 

What are my options?

1) Cohabitation

A clear option would be that you both continue living on the premises you had shared in the past. At face value, it is the “easiest” option in terms of convenience. Moving can be a financial and emotional burden. If both parties can agree to continue living under the same roof, no one needs to trouble by trying to find a new place to live. Plus, no one has to worry about who will have to cover the previously shared costs. This does, of course, mean that you will need to be in close quarters with your ex pretty regularly. As most divorces aren’t exactly a “happy” affair, this may not be the best route to take. Living under the same roof will not allow both of you to receive the space you need to come to terms with the event at hand. Even if you have a spare room, it probably is for the best that you revisit some other options. 

2) Ex Leaves

It is rather common that someone leaves as soon as the divorce is announced. Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to cover the costs of the living space yourself or your ex and you agree to share the costs of the home for a short amount of time despite their absence. 

If you can afford to house independently without having to deal with too much of a monetary strain, you may want to do this. 

3) You Leave

You can always be the one to go if you are concerned about supporting yourself in the home (or just don’t want to be forced to live in the memories). You probably won’t be able to take all of your belongings right away, but you can discuss retrieving the rest of your stuff at a later date with your partner. 

There are several different things that you can do if you find yourself needing a place to stay for a bit. Most obviously, you can ask a close friend or relative if they wouldn’t mind you staying there for a while. If this isn’t an option, you can consider temporarily renting while you look for more permanent arrangements. A hotel is always a nice option, but if you are looking for something more cost-effective, you may want to try a Motel or Airbnb. 

It is important to note that if your name is on the lease or property, it is still your problem. You cannot simply walk away from it and be done -it will remain your responsibility until you relinquish your name or establish a new contract. 

4) Refinancing

If both parties have their name on the mortgage, you will need to consider refinancing. Refinancing is the process of removing someone’s name off of the loan. Depending on your individual credits, you guys may need to consider a co-signer in order to keep the home in the desired name. 

Relinquishing your name on a loan doesn’t mean you lose everything you’ve investing in. When you refinance a loan, the person whose name is released from the agreement usually receives an appropriate cash settlement. This amount depends on the current balance and their personal contributions. 

Even if you are a “stay at home parent,” if you are qualified to receive alimony, you may be qualified to receive a payout despite the lack of financial distribution. This is something that can be discussed with a legal advisor. 

  • To Keep
  • To Throw Out/ Recycle
  • To Sell
  • To Donate

What you do with larger items such as appliances or furniture will depend on what you want to do with the cleaned house.

5) Rent

Whether refinancing is necessary, you may consider opening your home up to outside rental agreements. Especially if neither of you can afford the place alone, you can try to rent the place out. When there is only one of you staying there, it is rather simple. There are many different resources you can use to find a roommate. A roommate may even provide some emotional support while simultaneously alleviating part of the financial burden. 

Inviting a friend or relative to move in for a bit may be an option. You can also put your apartment up for rent and use outside resources to find a roommate. 

6) Sell

Do none of these options appeal to you and you just want to get rid of the house? You can also just sell it. Selling a home doesn’t have to be a long and complicated ordeal. Using certain services such as those at Advantage Home Buyers allows you to get cash for your property in as little as 24 hours with no fees of commissions. Doing this can allow you both to leave the property with some money and start a new life without any painful reminders. Using these fast-paced services will also reduce the amount of time you are forced to negotiate with your spouse about the home listing. 

What happens when it can’t be decided?

If an agreement cannot be reached, you can also reserve this problem for an attorney. Settling disputes involving homeownership are rather common. Having a professional discussion with a lawyer may be the best way to limit the frustration and legally tie up loose ends. 

A divorce is a complicated event, but making informed decisions can help eliminate future frustrations in the long run. Really take the time to consider your options today.