You got married 10 years ago, you had children and you bought your dream home. You felt like everything was going according to plan. But then your spouse asked for a divorce.
You know that you need to divide your assets and your time with the children. But what you’re wondering is if you’re going to have to sell the house. After all, this is your dream home and you don’t necessarily want to lose it. What options do you have?
Buying half of the house
If you want to keep the house, the best way to do it is likely to buy your ex’s half. Maybe there are other marital assets that they would agree to take in exchange for half of the home during property division. Maybe they want you to pay them cash directly, perhaps by getting a loan or transferring the mortgage into your own name. Once you have purchased your spouse’s half, you become the sole owner of the house and you can keep it for as long as you would like.
Owning the home together
Another potential option if you don’t want to sell the house is to keep owning it as a couple. You don’t have to be married to do this. For instance, maybe your children want to stay in the same house, so you and your ex agree to keep it so that they don’t have to move. Or maybe you look at the real estate market and realize you could make twice as much money if you kept the house for a few more years (since the market is going up). Some couples will jointly own a home as an investment and sell it when the time is right.
As you can see, though, you certainly are not obligated to sell the house. There are other options and it’s important to know what legal steps to take.