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Options for settling the house in your divorce

The marital home is often the center of the property division debates in a divorce case. Deciding who keeps the house or how to distribute the financial responsibility is challenging, especially when you do not fully understand your options.

There are several ways to handle the marital home in your divorce settlement.


In divorce cases with young children, birdnesting is an ideal solution for the marital home. Maintain the family home for your children while each parent has their own residence to stay in when they are not with the kids.


If one party keeps the house but both of you are on the current mortgage, that party should refinance the mortgage to remove the other spouse from the financial liability. Include a clause in the settlement requiring that refinance and removal from the deed as well.


Some couples choose to sell the home and divide the proceeds of the sale after paying off the mortgage. This provides both of you with the funds to pay for your own living arrangements without either party having to stay in the marital home.


If you own the home outright without a mortgage payment, consider keeping the property and renting it out. Divide the rental proceeds between you and establish a clear contract defining each of your roles and responsibilities as landlords if you plan on maintaining joint ownership or if one party can buy the other’s interest.

The marital home is typically one of the highest-value assets in the divorce. Consider these solutions as you decide how to handle the property.