The Impact of Divorce on Homeownership Rates


Divorce is a complex and emotionally challenging process that affects every aspect of one’s life. From the emotional toll to the financial strain, divorce leaves no stone unturned. One often-overlooked facet of divorce is its impact on homeownership rates. In this blog, we will explore the intricate relationship between divorce and homeownership, shedding light on the factors that can either bolster or hinder one’s ability to keep or acquire a home post-divorce.

The Shared Home: To Keep or To Sell

For many couples, the home they live in represents one of their most substantial joint assets. When a marriage dissolves, the question of what to do with the family home arises. Some couples choose to sell the house and split the proceeds, while others opt for one partner to keep it, often involving a buyout of the other’s share.

Impact on Homeownership Rates

If one partner decides to keep the house, they may need to refinance the mortgage, which can be challenging for various reasons, including a reduced income post-divorce. This can impact their ability to maintain homeownership, especially if they were financially dependent on their ex-spouse.

Financial Fallout: Splitting Assets and Credit Scores

Divorce often involves the division of assets and liabilities. The equitable distribution of property may lead to the sale of the home or the transfer of ownership to one spouse. This process can significantly impact an individual’s financial standing.

Impact on Homeownership Rates

In many cases, individuals may find themselves grappling with reduced credit scores post-divorce due to the financial strains associated with asset division and legal fees. A lower credit score can make it challenging to secure a mortgage or refinance an existing one, thereby affecting homeownership rates.

Income Disparities: Affecting Home Affordability

After divorce, both partners frequently experience changes in their income levels. These changes can range from one spouse becoming a single income household to one partner returning to the workforce after years of being out of it.

Impact on Homeownership Rates

A decrease in income, whether temporary or long-term, can impact an individual’s ability to afford their current home or purchase a new one. This income shift can lead to changes in homeownership rates, particularly if selling the marital home becomes necessary due to financial constraints.

Co-Parenting and Housing Choices

For couples with children, divorce introduces unique housing challenges. Co-parenting often means maintaining a stable and suitable home for the children, which can be a complex task in the aftermath of a divorce.

Impact on Homeownership Rates

Co-parents may need to invest in larger homes or homes in specific neighborhoods to accommodate custody arrangements and maintain a stable environment for their children. This can affect homeownership rates, as parents make housing decisions based on their children’s needs.

Emotional Stress and Decision-Making

The emotional toll of divorce should not be underestimated. The stress and emotional upheaval can impact decision-making, including choices related to housing.

Impact on Homeownership Rates

Emotional factors can influence individuals to make hasty decisions about their homes, such as selling or buying impulsively. These decisions can have long-term consequences for homeownership rates and financial stability.


Divorce is a life-altering event that touches every aspect of one’s life, including homeownership. The impact of divorce on homeownership rates can be profound, affecting not only the housing choices made by individuals but also their financial well-being. Navigating this challenging terrain requires careful planning, financial diligence, and sometimes, seeking professional advice to make informed decisions about the family home in the aftermath of divorce. Ultimately, understanding these dynamics can help individuals make the best choices for their unique circumstances as they move forward in life.

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Katina Farrell

Katina Farrell

Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert®

Katina Farrell, CDRE® is an experienced Realtor & Managing Broker who specializes in real estate transactions, with expertise as a trained Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert® and a Certified Negotiation Expert. She handles the sale of real property in family law cases as a neutral expert. Schedule a complimentary chat and discover more ways Katina can help you resolve the real estate challenges plaguing your divorce cases.

Call: 720-295-8848


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