Select Page

Should We Sell Our Home Before or After Our Divorce?

by | May 19, 2020 | marital property, News and Events

If you are considering divorce and you and your spouse own a home together, you’ll need to make some decisions about what to do with the property when you are no longer living together. Often, this means selling the home. New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning that a court will make every attempt to ensure that property is divided between you and your ex-spouse as fairly as possible — which may not always mean equally. If selling your home is on the table, you need to know whether it’s better to sell the home before your divorce is finalized, or after. Here’s what you should know.

Divorce Attorney Consultation

Selling Your Home Prior to Your Divorce

You and your spouse can agree to sell your home before your divorce is finalized. Typically, this means that you will split the proceeds from the sale down the middle, unless one party invested non-marital assets into the home. For example, if your spouse used part or all of an inheritance to purchase the home, they may receive their share of the proceeds, plus any non-marital funds that were used to purchase the home.

Benefits of selling your home before your divorce is finalized include but are not limited to:

  • Higher tax write offs. If you sell the house prior to your divorce, you may be eligible to exclude up to $500,000 in capital gains on the next year’s taxes, compared to only $250,000 if you sell after.
  • Negating the need to find an equivalent exchange. If one party wants to keep the house, they will need to find an equivalent exchange. There may not be enough value in other properties to consider its exchange for a home to be equitable. However, if you sell the house, no equitable exchange is needed, because the proceeds from the sale are simply split between both parties.
  • The emotional relief of being able to move on. If your marital home is a source of emotional strain for you, selling it may be the best option. You’ll receive a sum of money that you can use as a down payment on another home or to rent an apartment or condo if you wish. You won’t be stuck living in a home that continues to cause heartbreak.

Who Gets the House in the Divorce?

If you decide not to sell your home before the divorce, likely one of you will be awarded the home in the divorce settlement. You and your ex-spouse may reach an agreement on who gets the home in exchange for what, or a Long Island divorce judge may make the decision for you if your divorce becomes contested.

Selling Your Home After Divorce

If you were the party that received the home after the divorce was finalized, there are a few benefits you can still incur. Consider these before making a final decision on whether to sell the home before or after dissolving your marriage.

  • Increased property value. The value of property generally increases over time, and if you’ve done any maintenance or renovations, this can make your home worth much more than it was originally before the divorce. You’ll likely to be able to sell it for a higher amount in this case than if you had sold it as-is prior to the divorce.
  • Reduced real estate stress. Selling a home and going through a divorce simultaneously can be difficult. If you and your ex-spouse are able to easily find an equivalent or equitable exchange for the home, going through the real estate process is one less thing to worry about.
  • A place to live. If you don’t have much left after the divorce, you’ll have someplace to live while you work on getting back on your feet and learn how to live independently.

When to Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Property division in a Long Island divorce can be complicated, especially in high net worth or contested divorces. Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. to learn more about equitable distribution in New York and when the right time to sell your home may be. Call now for a consultation at 631-923-1910.


Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Robert Hornberger and Christine Verbitsky

Get your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today.

Your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this  conversation, we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below for your free consultation and case evaluation.

All Fields Are Required

Divorce Lawyer Attorney Long Island NY Courts Open
Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York



Google Review of divorce longisland
Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.
Sam Berg
Sam Berg
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.


  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!



divorce questions answered



Long Island Divorce Guide

Fill the form to download Guide

* indicates required


Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. respects your right to privacy. We will never sell your information to any third party. Follow this link to read our full privacy policy.


Child Support & Spousal Maintenance Tools
Spousal Maintenance Calculator
Child Support Calculator

Pin It on Pinterest