There are a number of emotional and logistical complexities that come with a divorce, and reaching an agreement on who will retain the home doesn’t always happen right away. However, it is an important decision that requires forethought and consideration for all involved. 

Deciding who keeps the home can be a sensitive process, therefore it is essential to approach this decision with care and consideration for both you and your spouse. In this blog post, we will provide guidance on how to reach an agreement regarding the family home during a divorce. We will also cover high level elements of the buyout process, and what you and your spouse can expect during this stage.

Deciding who keeps the home in the event of a divorce is an important yet complex subject. While this post is designed to be an introduction to the topic, in-depth advice is available. Click here to reach our team.

Deciding on Who Keeps the Home

As you approach these conversations, it’s a good idea to seek formal advice from your lawyer. Understanding your legal rights and obligations will help you take on the negotiation process with clarity and confidence. Your lawyer can provide insights into your specific situation, ensuring your interests are protected throughout the process. 

Open Communication

The foundation of any successful agreement is open and honest communication. In the case of deciding who keeps the family home, both spouses should be as transparent as possible while expressing their preferred outcomes and potential concerns.

Once again, It’s advisable for both spouses to consult with their respective lawyers during the mediation process. In addition to ensuring that your rights and interests are protected, this can provide guidance and structure to your discussions.

Consider Finances

The spouse who keeps the home will need to be able to afford the home independently. This includes mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and more. Therefore, before making any decisions, it’s essential to assess the financial realities involved.

Family Factors 

Children are often the most influential factor in determining which spouse stays in the home. Given the sheer degree of change, maintaining a stable home environment will be helpful for children as the family navigates a divorce.

Moving to a new home in the event of a divorce? Explore these related blog posts for helpful insights.

Navigating Partner Buyouts 

Once you have decided which spouse will stay in the home, the buyout process can commence. 

First and foremost, before proceeding with the buyout process you and your spouse must have a formal separation agreement in place. This step is legally required under Ontario law. 

Property Valuation 

One of the intricate nuances that come with spousal buyouts is accounting for equity. When one spouse buys out the other’s share in the home, they are not paying one half of the price paid when it was initially purchased. Rather, the buyout amount must instead reflect the home’s current market value. If one spouse owned the house before marriage and how much each party invested into the house when it was purchased can factor in as well.

Your real estate agent can offer an informed recommendation on what the home could sell for under the relevant market circumstances. However, both spouses will ultimately need to agree on the amount before the buyout can proceed. 

If you and your spouse are working with separate agents, they can collaboratively provide an approximate valuation that reflects the interests of both parties as best as possible. In some cases we will recommend hiring a third party home appriser to give their opinion of the the value.

Searching for a new home following a divorce or other life transition? Consider these resources for helpful tips. 

Ramsay Group’s Supportive Services

Divorce is intricate for a myriad of reasons, and due to the emotional, delicate aspect of the matter, finding the right help can seem challenging. But it doesn’t need to be. 

As a dedicated team with distinctive experience in these types of transactions, Ramsay Real Estate Group can provide first-class, end-to-end support as you navigate your real estate goals during a divorce.

We’ve been through it and understand just how difficult the process of divorce can be, and that’s why our approach is empathetic and compassionate, keeping you in the driver’s seat of your own journey. Leveraging our data-backed expertise, we can guide you through the complex process of a spousal buyout (or joint sale) with ease – reducing stress wherever possible. 

Searching for a compassionate real estate team that can guide you through the process of selling during a divorce? Ramsay Real Estate Group can help. Click here to contact us by email or call 416.906.8366.

Stay up-to-date with Toronto real estate.

Get insider information delivered directly to your inbox.