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Divorcing.... Do we have to sell the house?

Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, especially when it comes to dividing assets like a shared home. However, there's a common misconception that selling the home is the only option to split the equity. Contrary to this belief, selling isn't the sole solution.

Couples going through a divorce have multiple ways to fairly divide the home equity without resorting to a sale. One common approach is a "buyout." One spouse can buy out the other's share of the home equity, allowing the remaining partner to retain ownership. This can be done through refinancing, spousal buyout or by offsetting the home's value with other assets.

Another option is to co-own the property post-divorce. Some couples choose to continue owning the home jointly, especially if children are involved. This requires clear agreements on property management, mortgage payments, and potential future sale.

Alternatively, if both parties agree, the property can be held until a specified date in the future, like when the real estate market is more favourable for selling. During this time, one spouse may live in the home while maintaining it, ensuring that its value is preserved.

In cases where selling is the best choice, the proceeds can be divided according to the divorce settlement agreement. This distribution can be equal or customized based on individual circumstances.

In conclusion, while selling the marital home is one option to divide equity during a divorce, it's far from the only one. Couples have several alternatives to consider, each with its own advantages and implications. Consulting with legal and financial professionals can help divorcing parties make the best decision for their unique situation, ensuring an equitable outcome without unnecessary distress.

Tonia Mercer | The Mortgage Missus Inc.

About the author,

Tonia Mercer is an independent mortgage broker. She has been in the industry for 15 years and in 2021 she launched her own brokerage The Mortgage Missus Inc.

Tonia is passionate about financial education and believes that working with independent experts is the best way to get unbiased, professional advice. She has joined forces with local independent home and auto, financial advisor, legal, appraiser and real estate service providers.

Effectively creating a concierge service for all things financial and real estate.

Connect with her at

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