You and your spouse bought a home together shortly after getting married. Now the two of you have decided to split up, and you need to divide your property during the divorce. Does this mean that it’s time to sell the house?

That is what most people do. A sale, as long as the home is worth more than you owe, gives you a quick profit. You can simply split the money with your spouse. It’s fast, it’s relatively easy and it gives you both a fresh start as you buy your own homes. The money you earn on the sale can be a nice down payment.

However, some people want to keep the home. One option to do that is to buy out the equity your spouse has in the house. For instance, if a sale would generate $50,000 in profit and your spouse would get $25,000 in the divorce, you can pay them the $25,000 or trade other assets, allowing you to keep the home after you refinance it in your own name.

If you do not want to sell the house right now — maybe because the market is low — some couples do keep the home together. You don’t have to sell. You can simply agree on who pays the mortgage moving forward, wait for the market to turn and then sell the home at that point. This is a bit more complicated because you have to work with your ex.

Perhaps you’re leaning toward selling, the most popular option. If so, be sure you know exactly what steps you should take.