Selling A Home During A Divorce

Selling A Home During A Divorce
What to consider when selling a home during a divorce.

Divorce is a civil court procedure that dissolves the bonds of matrimony between two former spouses. You have likely heard that half of all marriages end in divorce. Unfortunately, this statement is not far off as it is estimated that nearly 45% of married couples eventually divorce. Interestingly, the divorce rate was actually closer to 50% during the 1980’s. Nonetheless, there are many considerations for couples going through a divorce. One of these considerations is oftentimes how to proceed with a home sale. This article is intended to discuss some important things to consider when selling a home during a divorce.

Things to consider

Although a judge will determine most of what is highlighted below, it is always important to be aware of these considerations.

  • Separate bills and cancel any jointly held credit cards: In order to avoid future financial disputes, it is recommended that you track individual spending on the home and avoid using any joint credit cards.
  • Time the sale of your home with the divorce: The most fair approach to selling your home during a divorce is to try and time the sale as close as possible to the actual divorce. If only one spouse remains in the house for a period of time prior to the sale, this may lead to additional financial disputes.
  • Determine the payment structure for the home: Financial responsibility for the home will likely come down to whether or not both spouses earn an income. Regardless of who pays for the home, it is important to remember that any profits taken from a home sale will likely be split between both spouses.
  • Develop a financial plan for both spouses: In order to avoid future complications or disputes, it is crucial that both spouses have a financial plan for after the divorce takes place. This may or may not include profits from the sale of a home.
  • Determine which spouse will remain in the home and what the payout price will be: It is quite possible that one spouse may remain in the home. If so, a buy-out of the home will need to be negotiated. This is commonly done between the attorney’s and will be part of the greater negotiations.
  • Determine the cost of any capital improvements to the property before a sale: As with any sale of a property, it is important to account for any costs incurred for capital improvements of the home. These may include a recent remodel or addition to the home. These capital costs will impact the amount of gains that may be realized for a sale.
  • Communicate and document all intentions in the divorce papers: Needless to say, both parties will want to be as thorough as possible when it comes to all intentions during the divorce proceedings. This certainly includes the intentions for the home.
  • Consider selling the home after the divorce is finalized: In some cases, it may be best to consider selling the home after the divorce is finalized. Essentially, this would keep the home neutral during all divorce proceedings. Afterwards, a home could be sold and the profits split as determined to be equitable to both parties.


Needless to say, a divorce can be an extremely stressful and difficult time. Add in the responsibility of selling a home and this can seem overwhelming for many. As always, it is important to have a financial strategy that will be fair and equitable to both parties. It is important to remember that the less disputes there are during the divorce process, the less costly it will likely be for both parties. As with any real estate transaction, it is crucial to hire a local and knowledgeable real estate agent to guide you through the process.

Are you looking to buy or sell property in the South Florida area? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search app for your mobile device and have the power of the South Florida MLS in the palm of your hand.

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.