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The Big Question After Separation: What to Do with Your Home (Insights from Property Settlement Agents)


The Big Question After Separation: What to Do with Your Home (Insights from Property Settlement Agents)

Marriage and relationship separations provide enough stress, especially when it comes to dividing assets. Whether you are going through this process personally or supporting someone through it, it is important to understand all available options. 

In this blog post, property settlement agents will explore different alternatives for managing the family home after separation, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each, and discuss how the property settlement process in Kalgoorlie goes.

What to Do with Your Home After a Separation

Option 1: Sell the Home

Selling the family home is one of the most straightforward options after a separation. Here are some key points to consider:


  • Provides a clean break, allowing both parties to move on independently.
  • Liquidates the asset, allowing for a fair division of proceeds.
  • Eliminates ongoing financial obligations associated with the property, such as mortgage payments and maintenance costs.


  • Selling a home can be emotionally challenging, especially if fond memories are attached to it.
  • Market conditions may impact the sale price and the time it takes to sell.
  • Both parties must agree on the sale terms, which can sometimes lead to disputes and delays.

Option 2: Buy Out the Other Party

Another option is for one party to buy out the other's share of the home. Here's what you need to know:


  • Allows one party to retain ownership and continue living in the home, providing stability, especially for the children involved.
  • Avoids the need to sell the property, preserving any sentimental value it may hold.
  • Enables a fair division of assets if one party has the financial means to buy out the other.


  • Requires a significant financial commitment from the buying party.
  • It may necessitate refinancing the mortgage to remove the other party's name, which can be complex and time-consuming.
  • The buying party must ensure they can afford the ongoing expenses associated with homeownership, including mortgage payments, taxes, and maintenance costs.

Option 3: Co-Own the Home

For some separated couples, co-ownership may be a viable option, particularly if neither party is ready or willing to sell. Here's what to consider:


  • Allows both parties to retain a stake in the property, maintaining a sense of financial security.
  • Provides flexibility, as either party can buy out the other's share in the future.
  • Enables the home to remain available for shared use, such as accommodating children part-time.


  • Requires ongoing communication and cooperation between the parties, which can be challenging, especially if the separation is contentious.
  • Decision-making regarding the property can become complicated, particularly if the parties disagree on maintenance or renovations.
  • The arrangement may not be sustainable in the long term, especially if one party desires a clean break or if circumstances change.

Option 4: Rent Out the Property

If neither party wants to sell but cannot afford to buy the other, renting out the property could be an option. Here's what you need to know:


  • Provides a source of rental income, which can help cover mortgage payments and other expenses associated with the property.
  • Allows both parties to retain ownership of the home while living elsewhere.
  • Provides flexibility, as either party can choose to sell or move back into the property in the future.


  • Requires finding suitable tenants and managing the responsibilities of being a landlord.
  • The rental income may not be sufficient to cover all expenses, particularly if the property requires maintenance or repairs.
  • It can be emotionally challenging, especially if the tenants do not take care of the property or if there are disputes between the parties regarding rental arrangements.

Understanding Property Settlements in Kalgoorlie

If you and your ex can agree that one will get the house and the other will get some money, or if there are two houses, you will get one, and your ex will get the other, it can be a pretty straightforward and simple process.

Very often, people come to see us saying they’ve reached such an agreement and ask us to give effect to it. At that stage, we tell them about Transfer Duty (formerly known as stamp duty) which will apply to the person acquiring the other’s share of the house.

So if the house is worth $400,000, say, and you each own half, and you are getting the house, you are effectively acquiring your ex’s share of the house, which is a $200,000 dutiable transaction, which will attract a duty of $5,035. The duty on $250,000 is $6,935 and $8,835 on $300,000.

However, if you have a Family Court Order, the Duty falls to the Nominal Duty rate of just $20.

“But I don’t want to go to the Family Court,” yes, we hear you. However, if you agree to the settlement arrangement proposed, you simply need to have a lawyer draft your wishes into Consent Orders for the Family Court to agree to and then attach the Family Court seal.

This is sufficient under the Duties Act for you to be eligible for the $20 Nominal rate.

Here in Kalgoorlie, one of the local Magistrates will take the place of the Family Court and Seal the Orders. This will typically cost around $1,000 for this, which is not a bad return on investment – spend $1,000 to save $5,000, $6,000 or $8,000+.

You can also instruct the settlement agent to arrange the settlement whilst they’re about it, or at least ask them for a quote.

Our fee is generally $990 plus $220 per bank involved, plus normal disbursement costs to outside agencies for things such as Landgate fees, title searches and duty, so if you’re staying with the same bank, that typically amounts to around $1,500, all up.

Or if you can’t agree, the Family Court will order a property settlement, and that’s when it starts to get really expensive. Indeed, it's often cheaper to just pay the duty.

The following is the basic process:

  1. Agree between you and your ex on the financial & property settlement. ie who will get the house and how the costs will be met;
  2. Whichever of you is keeping the house needs to arrange the refinance of the loan on the home into their name alone. Talk to the bank or finance broker to arrange this;
  3. If finance is likely to be approved, consult a lawyer about preparing Consent Orders;
  4. Once you have your Consent Orders, bring them to us (or any other settlement agent or lawyer) and have us prepare the necessary property conveyancing documents and arrange settlement; then, finally;
  5. Go your separate ways, knowing all joint property affairs are sorted out.

A final point here is that it’s pretty essential to do this reasonably soon after the separation or divorce before your individual financial situation has changed much. Leaving it for years often causes unforeseen problems. 

Goldfields Settlements transcends the ordinary, offering a comprehensive suite of property settlement services. Visit our business page to delve deeper into the offered services and see how we can help you!


DISCLAIMER: Neither Goldfields Settlements nor any of its staff are lawyers, so none of the above should be construed as legal advice. Readers are advised to seek their own independent legal advice on these or any other matters involving property dealings, preferably before entering into them.

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