What To Do About Your Home If You Are Getting a Divorce

Filing for a divorce is never an enjoyable or straightforward experience, but it is prevalent in Canada, where every two in five marriages end. Since it is common, it is beneficial to understand what can happen to your shared property in the event of a divorce. Although the divorce can be emotionally draining and, in some cases, not amicable, it is essential to be aware of the options you have in dealing with your marital home.  

These options are:

  • Keeping the home and buying your spouse out.

This scenario may be the most costly since you would be buying out the other half of the home’s equity. In addition, you are potentially taking on an existing mortgage for your home and will likely need to increase your mortgage to include the money owing to your spouse if you buy their portion out.

  • Your spouse keeps the home and buys you out.

This situation is similar to the case above, except that the roles would be reversed and your spouse would be buying you out. They would then pay for your home’s total equity and give you the money that the property would have been appraised. 

  • You and your spouse decide to sell or rent the home and split the proceeds.

If you both decide to sell your home, you will be doing so to get as much from it as possible. However, if you choose to rent the house, the same situation applies, and you have to do it for the highest price you can rent it out for.

You also need to make sure that your separation agreement is finalized before you sell your house. If it isn’t completed, the real estate lawyer will hold the sale proceeds. However, if they have the finalized separation agreement, the proceeds can be split accordingly. 

  • One spouse stays home for an agreed amount of time

This situation is unusual but could work for some couples. In this scenario, one spouse may want to stay in the marital home until their children are older. Once their children reach that particular age, they will then sell the house together and divide the proceeds from the sale.

  • If you cannot agree on who should be allowed to live in the home after a separation, you can ask the court to decide.

If you ask a judge to decide who should be allowed to live in the marital home, the judge will consider the following:

    • How much money each spouse has
    • Whether or not they have any written agreements on what should happen to the home
    • What is best for the couple’s children, if there are any involved
    • Whether there are any other places where they could live
    • Is there a history of domestic violence

It is important to note that the home will no longer be considered a marital home after a couple is separated or divorced. Therefore, if you own a home, you should be settling questions about how to divide up the property before your divorce is finalized.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell property in the Greater Ottawa Area, it is critical that you have a real estate agent on your side who understands your needs. Adam Mills and his team have been in business for over ten years and have a proven track record for success. Our team is composed of knowledgeable and experienced professionals who are happy to help you navigate the ever-changing Ottawa real estate market. Please contact us at 613-825-7653 or email us at for more information or help with your relocation.