Couples going through a divorce typically handle the house in one of two ways. Either one spouse keeps the house and gives the other some of the equity, or they agree to sell the house and split whatever they make from the sale.
Although it is rare to hear about it, there are situations where couples decide to retain joint ownership of the house even after divorce. Although joint ownership with your ex might seem like a nightmare situation, there are actually two very reasonable explanations for why a couple with children might agree to retain joint ownership of the home even after they divorce.
They want the children to stay in the same house
Some families with bigger houses and enough resources may want to try bird-nesting. Either both parents live in separate parts of the house simultaneously or rotate between living in their own space and in the family home when it is their parenting time.
This allows the kids to stay in the same house and attend the same schools but can lead to additional conflicts due to close quarters and changing dynamics.
Treating the house as an asset for a child
Even if your family does not intend to try bird-nesting, you might want to own the house jointly if you want it to pass to your children when they get a bit older.
For example, if you have a child with special needs, you may want them to live in the same house for the rest of their life for the sake of stability and accessibility. The two of you may have joint ownership of the property or can move the house into a special needs trust to set it aside for your child.
Creating unique solutions to property division problems can help you reduce how hard divorce is on your family. The better you understand your options, the easier it will be to stand up for yourself and make the right choices.