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Spousal House Buyout in Divorce

Helping you manage the economics of divorce.

The matrimonial home is often a couple’s largest asset, and therefore is the asset that most affects issues in a divorce. When a couple separates, buying the matrimonial home from the other spouse is often an intelligent course of action if your finances allow it.

For most people, selling a house on the open market and buying a new one is less economically favourable than staying in the matrimonial home and buying out the other spouse’s share. If you stay put, there are no moving costs, real estate agent commissions, land transfer taxes or other fees that come with moving house. In addition, keeping the matrimonial home is often what is best for children. Assuming they stay in the house, they are able to remain in their neighbourhood and school.
However, to buy the matrimonial home from your spouse, you must take on the existing mortgage and pay out your spouse’s half of the equity in the house. For many, this means you need to assume the existing mortgage and increase the mortgage to include the amount owed to your spouse.

Buying the matrimonial home is rarely straightforward. There is no express legal right to purchase the home from the other spouse in Ontario, and the economics of attempting to do so can be complex. As an experienced family law lawyer in downtown Toronto, Elliot S. Birnboim can advise as to the options and economics of buying the matrimonial home — and how to ensure that the numbers work in your favour.

All you need to know about buying the matrimonial home.

Many factors go into the decision to buy the matrimonial home from your spouse, such as emotions and stability. Still, ultimately it boils down to money and whether you can afford to pay for the house on your own. Here are a few things to consider when deciding on whether to buy out the matrimonial home:

  • There are memories tied to the matrimonial home, both good and bad. Do you want to carry these memories forward with you into your new life after divorce? Sometimes it is better to start a new chapter of your life in a new home.
  • While divorce can be very difficult on children, they are more resilient than we sometimes give them credit for. Many couples use the excitement of new homes and new bedrooms to help children transition into a new home.
  • Are you able to maintain the matrimonial home on your own? Even if your ex-spouse says they will help, be prepared to do everything from cutting the grass to re-shingling the roof on your own.
  • Be careful not to become house poor. If the expenses associated with buying out the matrimonial home are too high, it will only add to your stress and hinder your financial recovery after the divorce.

An intelligent approach to buying or selling the matrimonial home can materially affect the economics of your divorce. As a lawyer with experience in divorce and family law, Elliot has access to real estate agents and lenders who can help achieve your objectives.

Let us advise you on the steps you can take to make the most of your rights to the matrimonial home.

Call us for a free consultation.

The matrimonial home is one of the largest aspects of divorce since it is often the largest asset shared by a couple. The lawyers at Matrimonial Home can help you make a decision based on your current financial situation about whether to buy it out from your spouse or if it would be wiser to start fresh in a new home.

Talk tothe lawyers at Matrimonial Home about divorce and the family home. We will tell you where you stand. Get in touch today at 1.800.648.7943 or 416-800-2573. You can also use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with a family lawyer in Toronto.

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