When facing a divorce one of the biggest aspects to factor in, is the family home which normally usually faces the most complicated settlement. Whether a couple decides to maintain or sell their home, their living situation will change.

The decision to sell the marital home brings with it additional challenges. If both names appear on the deed, the property is held jointly. This can lead to complications down the road regarding its ownership. For this reason, future divorcees must fully understand their purchasing and selling options.

Although only one spouse may promote the property in many cases, both parties must sign the listing agreement, contract of sale, and several closing documents. One spouse cannot sell the residence without the consent of the other.

What Happens If One Spouse Wants to Retain the Marital Residence?

Before filing for divorce, a couple should conduct an informal chat to discuss how they will approach the decision to retain or sell the marital home. How will the couple coordinate the sale and divorce proceedings? What is the timeline for these events?

Should one spouse want to retain the marital residence, the other must sign the necessary paperwork to maintain the house. If only one spouse wants to sell the house, the other must consent for it to be sold.

This scenario is more common than you think. It is essential to make sure both spouses are on the same page. There is no right or wrong decision regarding selling and buying marital property. This is a decision that each spouse and their divorce lawyer or family lawyer must make together.

What Are the Potential Routes for Selling for a Marital Home After Divorce?

If both parties want to sell the marital home, the property will be listed and marketed as a single property. If the divorce is not yet final and the parties are not in agreement on how to divide the proceeds, a court may have to step in to decide the selling process and how the assets will be divided.

If both parties want to sell the marital home, the property will be listed and marketed as a single property. This makes it much easier to process. However, problems arise when only one of two spouses want to sell the home.

Consent is required to sell the house from at least one spouse. In this case, the non-selling spouse must comply with all the legal and contractual obligations, such as signing the listing agreement, contract of sale, and other closing documents.

Furthermore, if only one spouse wants to sell the home, the other spouse is liable to pay for the mortgage and the property taxes. The selling spouse may also be required to pay income tax on the sale.

It takes time to settle divorce disputes. In the meantime, the house remains a contentious issue. If the divorce is not resolved, the house remains challenging to sell. If a divorce is settled, it is possible to sell the home quicker. The earlier the divorce is fixed, the faster the house can be sold.


It is not uncommon for one of either spouse to hold onto the property during the divorce proceedings. However, this is not always the best decision. Because divorce can be emotionally and financially stressful, it is sometimes easier to agree to a settlement on the property. 

If you are looking for Australian property lawyers in Ipswich to help you with these problems, Springfield Legals is here at your service. Family law, property and business conveyancing, income protection, and succession planning are all areas of expertise for our firm. Contact us for more information.