Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

What happens to home equity when you divorce?

When you and your soon-to-be-former spouse purchased a California home together, you likely did so with the intent of continuing to live with one another for the foreseeable future. Divorces happen all the time, however, and if you are involved in one, a time will come when you need to decide what to do about what is probably your most substantial shared asset: your home.

Typically, according to Nerdwallet, divorcing couples trying to figure out what to do about their home after divorce pursue one of three common avenues. If you are among the many people going through a divorce who would prefer to make a nice, clean break from your former spouse, you may want to consider putting your shared home on the market. That way, you can simply split any proceeds you make on the sale and use them to buy or rent property on your own.

You may, however, wish to remain in your once-shared family home, or your spouse may wish to do so, whether to lessen the changes your children must face all at once or for some other reason. In such a scenario, it may benefit you to have the party who wants to stay in the home refinance the mortgage to exclude the party who does not wish to remain there.

In rare cases, couples decide that it might be best to share the home for some time after the divorce becomes final. For example, maybe your child is heading off to college in the fall, and you both want to ease the transition and see him or her off. Conversely, maybe the housing market in your area is weak, and you want to wait and see if it improves before listing your property. Some former couples choose to do this by rotating turns and having one parent stay in the family home one week, and the other, the next.

This information about how many couples choose to divide home equity is informational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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