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What happens to the house in a divorce?

When it comes to divorce, the family home is a particularly emotional matter. However, it's important to look past its sentimental value and focus on the financial aspects to make the best decision for your future.

Keep the house

Ask yourself: Can you afford the house considering the mortgage, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, and upkeep? How will you handle the mortgage? You may be able to assume the existing mortgage—essentially taking the ex-spouse off the existing loan—if your lender allows it or you may need to refinance. 
 
To help make a decision that makes financial sense, build a new budget showing your post-divorce cash flow and analyze the costs of your current home compared to living someplace else. 

Sell the house

Ask yourself: What is the value of your house after paying off the mortgage, brokers' fees, and taxes? It's important to get a fair and accurate appraisal in order to divide the property equitably. 
 
Consider how long it will take to sell the home, and what alternative living options you’ll have, short and long term. 
 
Work out a fair way to share the fixed expenses while the house is on the market—even if just one of you is living there in the interim. 

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Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.

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