Divorce property: Nina wants to stay, Nils wants to sell - what now?

Nina and Nils no longer see a future in their marriage. They want to get divorced. Now they are faced with the problem of how to divide the property they own together. Nils favors the simplest solution: sell the property, split the proceeds and use them to pay off the loan in full. But Nina doesn't want to move with the three children under any circumstances. She also believes that she can get away with it more cheaply than if she were to look for a rental apartment, given the current high rents. Whether that's true is one question - and whether Nils wants to go along with it is another.

Actually, Nils doesn't want to have anything more to do with the house after the divorce. He has lived there all these years with his family and now wants to draw a line under it. His buddy, who is a lawyer, has also told him that if he remains co-owner of the property, he would have to continue to be fully liable for the debts to the bank that have not yet been repaid, not just for his share. When Nina and Nils bought the house 12 years ago, they took out an annuity loan with a 15-year fixed interest rate. So in 3 years, they would also have to take care of follow-up financing, and only in 18 years or so would they be completely debt-free. If at some point Nina is no longer able to pay off her share of the loan installment each month, then everything would fall on Nils.

Nils has no desire to do that at all, even if he could then reduce the alimony payments due by the rent that Nina owes him for the use of the property. If Nina really wants to stay, he would rather sell her his share of the house. But how is that going to work? Nina won't be able to pay him the value of his share of the property in cash unless she robs a bank. And then the chances of him being able to leave the old marriage behind and concentrate fully on a new start would be slim again.

"What other options are there?" Nils ponders. As soon as the divorce is final, he could go to court and request a partition auction, so that Nina would then be forced to move out after all. But he also knows that's not a good idea. Not only because the proceeds would be far too small, but also because it would almost certainly lead to endless stress with Nina. Maybe instead they could try to find a buyer who would buy the house without Nina having to move out. Nils' lawyer friend once told him something about a so-called leaseback purchase, where an unlimited lease is concluded together with the purchase contract. The new owner would then rent the property to Nina and she could stay. Nils already knows that the purchase price will be lower, but he would accept that. So that would be a solution. But are there really interested parties who want to buy a rented single-family house rather than an empty one? Perhaps as an investment? Nils isn't really sure, but maybe he should talk to Nina about the idea. They could give it a try. Then they would definitely need a professional appraisal. Once Nina is ready to go that far, and then it doesn't work out with the leaseback purchase - maybe she'll eventually settle on a "normal" sale and move. Nils will also offer her his help in finding an apartment and renovating it. The main thing is that he has his peace afterwards.



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Legal Notice: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice in individual cases. Please have the facts of your specific individual case clarified by a lawyer and/or tax advisor.


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