After a divorce, one of the most difficult issues to resolve is the disposition of the family home. The simplest and most equitable resolution is usually for the home to be sold with both parties sharing equally in the proceeds. Sometimes couples mutually agree to sell the home, but often the court orders the couple to do so. Other couples delay the sale of the home, either as part of a mutually-agreed upon plan or because the animosity between the couple is too high immediately after the divorce.
However, many divorcing couples do not wish to sell the home to make the divorce transition easier on their children. Affordability is a key concern in such an arrangement since one spouse may not be able to maintain the residence with his or her salary post-divorce alone. If the couple decides not to sell the home, one option is for one spouse to sign over his or her half of the home to the other spouse. Another option is for the spouse who remains in the home to buy out the other spouses share of the property.
Yet another option is nesting, which is an arrangement where the children reside in the home full-time and the parents alternate living in the home. Under this arrangement, both parents maintain their own separate residences in addition to the family home. Nesting requires a great deal of cooperation between the spouses and often proves unworkable over time.
If one or both of the spouses remain in the home, it may be advisable to consult with an attorney before entering into the agreement to ensure that important details, such as taking on spouse off of the deed, are addressed. Continuing advice may be needed because divorces that started out amicable sometimes become contentious over time.