How to divide a house in a divorce

Divorced couples often want to divide a home by splitting profits or making trades, but sometimes sharing a property is the solution.

Not all Oregon couples own a home, but those who do have to decide how to divide this tangible asset when getting a divorce. According to Oregon.gov, there were 1,052 divorces over the course of a single month. With so many people going through a marital separation, it is not surprising that the division of this important asset is handled in a variety of ways.

Share the property

While most couples going through a divorce want to get as much separation as possible, this is not always a feasible option. In some cases, couples may be unable to sell the house due to an unfavorable market. In other situations, a divorced couple may want to keep the family home for the sake of any children involved. No matter the reason, couples can share the property by continuing to live together or by splitting their time in the family home.

Split the profit

Selling the house after a divorce is a common way to divide this tangible marital property. When neither person wants to live in the home, the easiest solution is to put it on the market and divide the profit once it has sold. Of course, most people do not get to walk away with all of the money from a house sale. The divorced couple may need to pay back a mortgage, pay sale fees and send in taxes before splitting the money made from the sale.

Make a trade

In some cases, only one of the people may want to stay in the house. When this is the case, the person who wishes to continue living in the marital home may need to appease the person who is moving out. After all, neither party is going to be getting any cash from the sale of the property. The person keeping the house can pay back the other spouse in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Refinance the home to assume complete liability of the mortgage.
  • Buy out the other person's share of the home.
  • Give the other person assets that equal his or her portion of the house.

When the former couple wants to make a trade, it is often necessary to find out how much the house is worth. This appraised value dictates how much the property owner will have to pay to his or her former spouse.

Oregon couples going through a divorce have to choose the best way for them to divide marital assets. Whether couples have large or small properties, it may be beneficial for them to work with an attorney familiar with this type of family law.