Deciding what to do with your home when you get divorced is incredibly important. If you own it outright, it’s probably the most valuable asset you and your spouse have. Even if you have a mortgage, you may have a lot of equity value in the house and the financial situation gets more complex. Are you best off to just sell the home as part of your divorce agreement?

You may be. You can keep it, but that means giving the spouse who doesn’t keep the house other assets in exchange for their share of the home’s equity. If there is a mortgage, keeping the home means refinancing into your name — which may be difficult on your own. This cannot always be done. Some couples qualify for a mortgage together that neither of them could get on their own. 

When you sell the house, asset division becomes easier. Say that the court orders a 50/50 split. You then sell the house and earn $100,000 in the sale. You take your $50,000 cut, your ex takes theirs, and you both go your separate ways. This is fast and simple, and you can both use your money as a downpayment on your own homes. 

That said, actually getting ready to sell the house can be complicated because you have to work together. Some couples are happy to do this because they just want the divorce to be over. For others, though, the thought of cooperating with a soon-to-be-ex is daunting. That can make actually getting the home ready to sell and then signing it over to the new owner very hard. 

You have to decide where you stand and what is best in your situation. Just make sure you know about all of the legal options you have for your divorce, the division of your marital property and other issues.