Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Mortgage and divorce: Buying out your spouse

With divorce, one of the biggest questions is how you should handle the family home. Certainly, the easiest route for a lot of couples is to sell the house. They try to get as much money out of it as they can, they split up that money and they are both free to seek new, post-divorce housing options.

However, another option may be to buy out your spouse and keep the home. You essentially pay them the portion of the money they would have received, get your own mortgage, and make the family home into your personal home. This does come with complications and questions. Can you actually get the mortgage on your own when you and your spouse previously used a joint mortgage? But it may be the right option if:

  • The children want to stay in the home and you know that keeping it will give them more consistency.
  • The house is convenient because it is near the kids' school or your work.
  • You think it would be too much of a hassle to move.
  • It is a home that has been in your family for years and you don't want to lose it.
  • It is your dream home and you are willing to make sacrifices to avoid moving to a different property.

Is this the right decision for you? It all depends, and every case is different. For some it is and for some it is not. The key is to carefully consider all of the different options that you have and to determine what works best in your unique situation for you and your family.

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