You hear people talk about a lot of different options for the house when they get divorced. They own the home together so that the kids don’t have to move. They try bird-nesting, where they actually share the home themselves. One spouse buys the house from the other.
All of these are options, and you should consider them. However, it is often best to simply sell your home and move on.
Why is that the best choice? It makes it easiest to split up the home if you have equity in it. Say you owe $500,000, but the house is now worth $600,000. If you sell it, you both take $50,000. Property division does not get easier or more efficient than that.
It also helps you cut ties most effectively. Bird-nesting, for example, means you still have to deal with your ex all of the time. Owning the home together — if neither you nor your ex can afford to buy out the mortgage — means you have to work together financially after you split up. Some couples do this, but it can get very complicated.
The emotional side of selling the house may be more difficult up front, but that could actually help you in the long run. It forces you to admit that this stage of your life is over and to move forward on your own. That can be the healthiest way to approach it when looking toward your future.
As you consider all of your options during the property division process, be sure you know what legal rights you have and what steps to take.