What Happens to the Family Home After Divorce

16 March of 2018

Before filing for a divorce, you might want to think about what will happen to your family home. This property is your major family asset. It’s only natural that you’d want to break down its value and divide it between the both of you. This delicate issue may cause disagreements between the two parties. Thus, there’s a legal process that you can follow.

To know more about the legal process, it’s best to hire a lawyer, like one in the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein, who can help you. If you do, you can go through the process with less to no problems.

The Property is Valued First

The first thing that the court will usually do is to put a value on the property. A real estate appraiser will evaluate the house and put a price on it. The final appraised value is known as the market value. The market value will be the figure that the court looks at when making a decision.

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The Terms of the Registered Owners are Determined

Because it’s a family home, both you and your spouse have the rights to the property. Even if you split up, these rights won’t change at all. However, the first one to claim this right might have an upper hand on the court.

Married couples have an obligation to each other. Once you split up, you don’t have that obligation anymore. Usually, the one who claims the property first will be able to control it. Because of this loophole in the law, a lot of spouses file for a Notice of Home Rights to the Land Registry right after marriage. The Notice of Home Rights ensures that the two parties won’t try to take advantage of each other in the case of separation of divorce. Moreover, both parties will have an equal share if the house is sold.

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Determine if One Spouse Will Have Full Rights

If one of the parties wants to keep the home and the other wants to forfeit their rights to it, then negotiations can go more smoothly. In cases like this, the spouse with the full rights to the house will also have to fully pay the mortgage payments.

Do take note that the law surrounding this agreement is pretty tricky. Even if you forfeit your rights to the property, the mortgage company still sees you as liable to pay. This means they will still run after you if your spouse fails to make the payment.

It’s really in the best interest of both parties to just sell the house and start fresh. That way, both of you won’t have to carry baggage on the way to your new lives.



Divorce is a messy process. It gets even messier if you have to discuss the ownership of your family home. This is why lawyers often advise their clients to fix things with the mortgage before you push through with the divorce. If the divorce is final and the mortgage is still hanging, things might get complicated. The safest options to choose are to either sell the property, rent it out, or live together until the mortgage is fully paid. In any case, you’ll need the help of a divorce lawyer to sort things out for you. Once you have sorted out the mortgage issues, then the both of you can start anew.


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