What Are the Common Options for Dividing Marital Property in a Divorce?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Real Estate Muses

The entire divorce journey is often riddled with emotionally charged issues.

Couples, or soon-to-be exes, have to deal with the children and the custody decisions. If they own a home together, they also have to decide what to do with their largest joint asset.


Handling property settlement issues in a divorce is never easy. Aside from having a qualified attorney, divorcing couples also need a qualified real estate professional to help them with the decisions regarding the family home.


There are usually three options for how to divide marital property in a divorce.

1. One spouse keeps the house, the other moves out.

In this scenario, one spouse continues owning and managing the house. It may be the best choice for whoever gets primary custody of the children. If the children have spent years in the family home, both spouses may agree that it is in the best interest of the children to continue their residence in that home for stability.


The spouse who will move out is entitled to some other property as a tangible asset of equitable value to their portion of the home’s value at the time of divorce. It is also common for spouses to agree that the party living in the house will pay the mortgage, property taxes, utilities, and routine repairs.

2. Sell the house and divide the proceeds

Selling the home and dividing the profit is often the least complicated of all possible scenarios. This option is most often chosen by spouses who both do not wish to retain the marital home. Once the divorce is finalized, there is a need for two residences, and the old family home becomes unaffordable for only one person.


Dividing Marital Property in a Divorce - Learn some of the ways couples can tackle dividing marital property.


A couple who decides to sell the family house may agree on how and when the sale will take place and may even come to an agreement concerning their desired sale price. Once the home is sold, the profit may either be divided between the spouses or given entirely to one spouse as a form of property settlement or spousal support.

3. Continue to own the home jointly, then sell and settle the profit division later

At present, this option is becoming much more common. For many families, selling the marital property is not an option if they owe more on the home than it is worth.


They can choose to rent the home for a period of time while the rent helps buy down the debt as the property value recovers. The home can be sold only when the financial situation is resolved.


Choosing the right real estate agent is an important consideration especially when the marital home is one of your client’s largest assets.


Aside from the financial protection advantages of bringing a real estate professional onto your divorce team, a qualified agent will be able to provide guidance and support relative to the current sale and future property decisions.


Not every real estate agent is well-equipped to handle a divorce-related home sale. Some even fail to grasp the severity of the situation.


If you have clients who are going through this difficult time the last thing they need is an agent who fails to meet their criteria.


When selling a home in a divorce, your client needs someone who knows how to move a house no matter how difficult the situation is. They need an agent who is fair, calm, level-headed, and not afraid to be involved in a difficult situation.


That would be me, Melissa Wiggans.


Visit my website at SanAntonioRealEstateResource.com  for more information.


Call us today at 210-332-0310. Our goal is to help our clients determine their best options for a fair property settlement.

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view What Are the Common Options for Dividing Marital Property in a Divorce?  on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/FMk4TJRUrgk

Comments (1)

Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Excellent blog post ! Very few Agents have been coached to handle this type of transaction !

Feb 13, 2018 07:06 AM
Melissa Muse Wiggans

Good day Michael J. Perry. Thank you.

Feb 17, 2018 04:05 AM