Helpful Advice For Selling a Family Home After Your Divorce

A couple sells a house after a divorce.

Are you in the process of selling a family home after a divorce? Or have you only started divorce proceedings in New York by contacting a divorce attorney? Whatever step you’re on in your divorce, you will need to figure out what to do with your marital home. 

Here, you will learn about property division when children are part of the divorce. That will greatly depend on which spouse has full child custody and whether child support payments will cover the costs of the children’s primary residence. 

The information here will also delve into the court process and any court order in the divorce settlement. Most importantly, you may want to work with a real estate agent to sell the New York house after the divorce. With the help of a divorce attorney, you can then undergo fair property division and split marital assets neutrally.

To learn all the steps of selling a house during a divorce, keep reading. 

Who Gets the House if Children Are Involved?

When selling a family home after divorce, you will need to consider what will happen to your children and whether a new home is best for the kids involved. Schoolchildren can get very worried and anxious when their parents undergo a divorce. 

Since divorce can feel rather traumatic, the idea of making the children move to a new neighborhood may potentially lead to further stress. You may want to speak with a family counselor or a child psychologist to figure out what the best step is for your family.

Essentially, when considering the children, you may not want to sell the house and pursue equitable distribution of the property. Instead, you will need to undergo a divorce agreement process where a mediator or the court can determine who gets the house when children are involved. Generally, that will depend on who gets the majority of child custody rights.

You may also feel attached to your home. After all, it’s where you’ve seen your children grow up, walk their first steps, lose teeth, and get ready for their first day of school. The value of the home goes beyond a monetary value.

However, if you’re determined to keep the house, you will need to ensure you can afford the place by yourself. You’ll need to cover the mortgage payments, utility bills, and property taxes. 

Yet, refinancing your home loan may create a better situation for you to cover mortgage payments by yourself. Now, if you can’t agree on who will keep the home, you may need to go to court. 

The Court Process

A divorcing couple will potentially need to undergo a court process to divide marital property and other marital assets. The first court hearing may occur if the spouse who receives a divorce petition does not file a response to the divorce petition. 

By not filing a response, that spouse will delay the divorce process and potentially lead to extra costs. If a response isn’t filed within 30 days, the spouse who sent the petition can request the court to enter a default.

However, if neither party contests the divorce and both eventually come to an agreement on the divorce terms, the next step involves filing some paperwork. Then, the court enters the divorce decree or judgment, which finalizes the divorce.

The courthouse will determine exactly how to separate property and who will get the house if the two parties co-own the home. Often, family law policies differ in each state and determine who will get the residence after a divorce. For instance, in California, marital and community property gets divided as equally as possible.  

However, in New York, the courts require the division of marital property “equitably.” That’s not the same thing as “equally.” Yet, it does mean fairly for both parties. In New York, there is no requirement for a 50/50 split for marital assets or property.

Sometimes, a judge may require one spouse to give the home to the other one with the expectation of a buyout. Essentially, if the original sale price of the property was $300,000, then the spouse who gets the house must pay the other half of the home’s value ($150,000).

Otherwise, the judge may require the sale of the home and then a division of the house’s final sale price.

How Houses Are Divided During Divorces

Homeowners amid a divorce may consider working with a realtor and putting their house on the real estate market. An appraiser can help complete your home’s valuation based on a fair market value. The appraisal will help you receive fair revenue from the sale. 

Getting an appraisal is important regardless of what you decide to do with the home. One spouse can get the home while buying out the ex-spouse and removing the individual from the mortgage loan. Further, you can both share the house as a possible vacation property. The most typical option is to sell the home and split the proceeds.

A couple sells a house after a divorce.

Selling a House After a Divorce

The costs of keeping a home without a second income are often too much to handle for one person. Covering mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, and general upkeep are often out of reach for one person. Therefore, a home sale is essential. The court may have mandated that you sell the house if you didn’t agree to it together. 

During a divorce, our tips and advice for new home sellers include working with both a real estate attorney and a listing agent. Selling a home after a divorce is one of the easiest ways to divide the major asset. 

After picking a list price, your realtor will find home buyers, hold open houses, and start showings. Once the home sale is complete, you’ll need to ensure your lender receives the payment to cover the rest of your mortgage. 

On closing day, you will likely have to pay closing costs including the realtor’s fee. Once you sell the property, pay off the mortgage loan, and cover taxes and closing costs, you can simply split the profit from the sale between you and your ex-spouse. 

You’ll need to consider all the financial implications of the home sale during a divorce. For example, you’ll have to consider the capital gains tax if you make a large enough profit from the home sale. Currently, married couples can exclude as much as $500,000 in profit from a capital gains tax after completing a home sale.

However, single people can exclude only as much as $250,000 in profit from a capital gains tax after selling a property. Further, you’ll need to live at your home for at least two out of the last five years to have eligibility for the capital gains tax exclusion. Keep in mind these tax implications. 

Splitting the Profit from a Home Sale Post Divorce

Generally, the court will mandate how to split the profit from a home sale after a divorce. Depending on the state you’re in, you may or may not have to split the proceeds equally. In some cases, if one spouse had a higher income and potentially paid more for the mortgage, that individual may get more of the profit from the home sale. 

It is also possible for one spouse to buy their ex-spouse’s portion of the home. For instance, if the home costs $400,000, then you can pay your ex-spouse $200,000 for that half of the real estate property.

Using Marital Lawyers To Help Ensure the Sale Is Fair

When it comes to handling a home sale or deciding what to do with the family house when children are involved, a marital lawyer may help. An attorney specializing in family law will provide the advice you need to complete a fair home sale.

You should seek out an experienced divorce lawyer who will provide you with the specific services you require based on your unique circumstances. For instance, if you shared an automobile or have both invested in stocks, an experienced divorce attorney can help you divide assets fairly.


Selling a family home after a divorce is not an easy process, but you can complete a home sale by following the processes outlined in the guide above. You can potentially sell the property to your ex-spouse. Otherwise, you can find a new buyer and then divide the final sale price between you and your ex-spouse.

Since divorce proceedings can get pricey, you may want to save more on the home sale. For instance, the benefits of selling a house by owner and foregoing a realtor include saving on the real estate agent’s commission fee. 

Yet, you may have trouble finding a typical buyer without a realtor’s help. As such, you should consider contacting cash home buyers in New York City. By using a real estate investor or a cash home buyer, you can sell a house fast in New York since these buyers don’t need to wait on a mortgage approval. 

We buy houses Brooklyn residents love, so call us today to find out more!