The stereotypical assumption during a divorce is that the couple will sell the house. At the very least, one spouse will buy out the other spouse and refinance the house. The two will not own it together.
However, couples sometimes break this stereotype and decide to keep the home with joint ownership even after they end the marriage. Why would they do this?
Much of the time, the reason is simply that the parents think that decision is best for the kids. Selling the home may mean the kids have to move into a new neighborhood and go to a new school. That may not matter much if they are 2 years old but telling teens that their entire life is being uprooted can be problematic. They want some consistency, so parents keep the house to give it to them.
In some cases, the parents even agree to sell the house and split up the money once the kids go off to college. They set an end date for joint ownership so that they are not trapped in this arrangement forever.
After all, one spouse may not be able to refinance on the house on one income. Unless they keep it together, on the mortgage terms they already agreed to, the kids have to move. Even adults who no longer get along personally will often make sacrifices for their kids.
If you are facing divorce and trying to put the children first, it may mean making some hard choices yourself. Make sure you fully understand all of your legal rights during this process, as you work with your ex.