Divorcing spouses must make several hard decisions together, including who gets the marital house or what to do if neither person wants it. Being well-informed on the matter helps soon-to-be-ex-spouses make a decision that they both feel comfortable with.

U.S. News & World Report examines the issue and offers options. Making the right decision helps spouses start their new lives on a positive note.


If spouses have shared children who grew up in the marital home, the couple can nest in the residence to avoid disrupting their children’s lives. With nesting, ex-spouses rent an apartment together. One person stays in the house with the kids while the other lives in the apartment. Nesting works most favorably as a short-term solution, as one person inevitably wants to stop switching residences again and again.


Depending on the current housing market in Alabama, splitting spouses can put the house on the market now or later. The couple can split the equity equally, giving them funds to buy a smaller home or rent an apartment or condo after the divorce.

Couples with kids must also consider timing if they want to sell their marital home. They may want to wait until the end of the school year, for instance.


One spouse may want to keep the house while the other does not mind giving it up in the divorce. The person who wants to remain in the house must consider whether her or his sole income can support the cost of maintenance, property taxes, home repairs, insurance and similar expenses. While receiving alimony can help cover the costs of owning a home, those payments may not last forever.