A Difficult Housing Market: Yet Another Reason for Amicable Divorce

Often, one partner files for divorce after an explosive argument or an event that feels like the final straw. Before running to the courthouse, few people consider that they have a choice about how to get divorced. And their chosen divorce process can have long-lasting effects on their family, finances, and home life.  

Parents who are getting divorced should consider a low-conflict, amicable divorce process. “Amicable” simply means you don’t want to fight or cause each other harm; you’d rather get through the process peacefully, without litigation. With the right support, this is not only possible, it’s game-changing 

This is a good idea in many divorce situations, for many reasons—your mental health, protecting your kids from conflict, wrapping up the process efficiently—but also for an unexpected reason: the current housing market. 

Mom and daughter packing moving boxes.

Why a difficult housing market makes it a good idea to stay amicable 

Divorcing couples have to decide who is staying in their marital home and who is moving out. In the past, parents had many options available so they could reach a resolution that was best for them.  

However, with the current stresses in the housing market, available options are shrinking. As a result, some divorcing couples keep living together through the divorce and sometimes for a long time afterwards. The more conflict ridden your divorce is, the more stressful your home life will be if you keep sharing a home. 

It’s a tough time to move out and buy a new place 

Currently, many different factors are creating a difficult housing market—making it more likely that you’ll stay in the same house for a while. Here are the two biggest problems. 

New mortgage interest rates are likely higher than your current rate 

One of the most impactful issues is mortgage interest rates. Due to higher rates than we have seen in recent years, parents are often agreeing to refinance and “buy out” the other parent as many as five years into the future.  

This means both parties continue to be listed on the mortgage. The good news is, you stay locked into your lower interest rate. The flip side is, one party is waiting a long time to get the funds needed to buy a new residence.   

Jennifer Brown is a certified divorce lending professional with Neighborhood Mortgage in Alpharetta, Georgia, and deals with divorce financing on a daily basis. She’s observed that “(m)any divorcing homeowners are faced with the reality that co-owning the marital residence post-divorce to preserve their financing terms may be their only affordable option. Co-owning a large asset and remaining obligated on a debt requires high trust and an amicable approach.”   

Co-owning a home during and after a divorce also requires good communication, so that you can resolve any issues as they arise. If you have a contentious divorce, this is nearly impossible. But with an amicable divorce, it will be easier to agree on repairs and maintenance, make timely payments to protect each other’s credit, and more.  

There aren’t many residences for sale right now 

Another large issue is the lack of home inventory. Even if you can afford to move out and take on a bigger interest rate, you might have nowhere to go. Pam Evans is a long time Forsyth County realtor with Century 21. “Inventory is low right now,” she explains, “as many sellers are delaying selling due to the very attractive low interest rate they currently have. So, it may take you longer to find your next home.” 

Pam adds, “You don't want to make a rash decision and settle. An amicable divorce will give you more time to ensure you make a sound next step. Time and patience are your friends.” 

An amicable divorce process sets you up for success—even in tough economic times 

Making an informed decision about your divorce and choosing an amicable divorce may impact your home life and finances for a long time to come. If you are interested in learning more about amicable divorce, visit AmicableDivorceNetwork.com.

Tracy Ann Moore-Grant
Author's Bio:

Tracy Ann Moore-Grant has represented clients and practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2002. She focuses her practice being a non-litigation attorney in Georgia with the law firm of Patterson Moore Butler, helping parties resolve issues outside of the court system as an uncontested and amicable divorce attorney, mediator, guardian ad litem, arbitrator, and parent coordinator.   

She is the founder of the Amicable Divorce Network, an international association of seasoned, licensed professionals who are dedicated to helping reasonable people navigate the process of divorce. Network members provide expert advice and guidance through the out of court amicable divorce process helping parties avoid costly and destructive litigation.   

Ms. Moore-Grant is an AV Preeminent Judicial Rated Attorney and winner of a 2020 Georgia Legal Award for the positive impact the Amicable Divorce Network has had on family law. She is a schnauzer lover, step-mother and former professor of Constitutional Law.