Negotiating a House Buyout After Your Divorce


If you feel strongly about keeping the marital home after filing for divorce in Pasadena and you have the financial means to do so, negotiating a house buyout with your former spouse could be an option to consider.

A buyout occurs when one spouse purchases the other's interest in the property. A buyout can occur as one lump sum payment or as payments made over time.

To finance a buyout, it is common for the buying spouse to take out a new mortgage in his or her name alone. Another possible approach is to trade interest in other marital property in exchange for the house. For example, you may give up your interest in your spouse's retirement plan in exchange for his share in the marital home.

A house buyout poses risks for both spouses. The buying spouse risks having the house depreciate in the future, while the selling spouse risks losing out if the house appreciates in value. Additional risks are involved if the buyout is tied to accepting a lower spousal support payment, since there are certain tax advantages associated with spousal support.

The biggest difference between a buyout and purchasing a new home is determining the value of the property. Since no real estate agent is involved in the transaction, you and your spouse will need to agree on the value of the house before you can negotiate a buyout. The best way to decide on the value is to hire a real estate appraiser, but this can add $300 to $500 to your divorce costs. You can also ask a real estate agent to provide info on the selling price of similar homes in the neighborhood or take it to court and have a judge decide the value of the property.

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Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of a Pasadena divorce attorney. Our firm's attorneys have many years of experience advocating on behalf of their clients.