The housing market is making it tough for divorced and separated couples to go their separate ways. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, high mortgage rates and record high home prices have caused estranged couples to share a home for longer than they would like.

With mortgage rates over 7% and inflated home prices, establishing two different households is proving financially impossible for many. Renting is not an option for those couples with limited cash flow, since typical rent payments have risen 9% over the last two years. The report went on to state that some couples are even delaying divorce filings in the current financial climate while others are negotiating agreements to delay selling and/or refinancing their homes.

Deciding what to do with the marital residence is a common problem in divorce as the family home is often the biggest asset in the marital estate. Divorcing couples’ options are usually to sell the home (now or later) and divide the net sale proceeds, or one party retains the home and refinances the mortgage to remove the other party’s name from the loan. Couples needing to sell may be forced to negotiate with the bank for a short sale; accepting a price that is less than the home is worth. The WSJ article shared similar stories, including one where a woman was tied to her ex-husband for three years while she bought him out of his share of the house.

Of course, the best way to protect your assets in a divorce is by hiring an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney. If you and your spouse are struggling to figure out what to do with your marital home and how to divide significant home equity, Williams Family Law is the largest divorce law firm in Bucks County. If you need help with a divorce or any other family law issue, contact us at 215-340-2207 or email