If my wife and I were getting a divorce and one of us wanted to keep the house and was buying the other out of their portion of the equity, being split 50/50, would the cost of the refinance of the mortgage to take the separating party off of the lease for the house typically be split between both parties or paid in full by the party keeping the house? Also say my wife would prefer to sell the house rather than keep it and sees it as the burden of the person who wants to choose the situation in which there is a refinance of the mortgage involved.

Thank you!

  • 2
    From a practical POV, if you want to buy a house you have to pay what the seller (of the other part) asks you. That you each have paid $X towards the house is of little importance here, if your wife asks for $X+Y and will not buckle and you want the house that bad, you have to pay it.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 21:16
  • 1
    You have a disavantage because you want the house, she has a disavantage because she is unlikely to find offers to buy just her half. Getting the market value of the house (minus mortgage) provides a rule of thumb to start negotiations; if she gets the same money from selling to you that she would get from jointly selling the house she has less reasons to object. Maybe she is good with that, but from a purely economics POV the issue is how much more profit she can get from your decision of keeping the house (IOW, how much of a bonus you want to pay for it).
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


The person who bears the refinancing costs would be determined by mutual agreement in a separation agreement, or would be determined by a court in a decree in its discretion, which is extraordinarily broad in domestic relations actions.

There is no one rule governing this situation.

Often ability to pay is the controlling factor. Also, many refinances can roll the refinancing cost into the principal amount or be concluded with no "points" and a minimum of transaction costs, especially when the same lender that is already "on the risk" is retained.

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