When a couple divorces, their marital home is typically one of the most valuable assets and the biggest obstacle in the settlement. Determining who gets the house can be a complicated process, more so than any other division of property. One party may have been the primary homeowner during the marriage, but if both parties contributed to the mortgage or paid for household expenses, they may both have an equal claim to the property. If one party wants to keep the home and the other doesn't, they may be willing to pay that person more in alimony or child support. In this article, we’ll discuss how courts decide who gets the house in a divorce.
Before anything, make sure you have a good lawyer.
Because divorces and then the division of property process—and child custody issues, if there are children in the equation—is such a time-consuming process, it’s important to feel represented. There are lawyers who specifically study the field of family law who can make the aspects of your divorce as easy as possible, with effective representation every step of the way. If you live in Denver, searching “divorce lawyer Denver” will bring you to the best services first. Don’t go into a divorce with poor representation, not if you want the best path to get a fair decision on who gets the house.
What if one spouse wants to sell the house?
If one spouse wants to sell the house, the other may have grounds to contest the sale. In most cases, the court will order that the house be sold, and the proceeds divided equally between the spouses. However, if there is a valid reason for one spouse to keep the house, such as having custody of children or being unable to afford another home, the court may order that spouse to keep the house.
Equitable distribution is one way to determine who gets the home.
One party may be awarded the house in a divorce settlement by using equitable distribution or through a transfer of title pursuant to a quitclaim deed or other instrument. Equitable distribution means that the property will be divided fairly between the spouses, considering things like each person's contribution to the marriage, their income and assets, and any debts they owe. In some cases, one spouse may be awarded the house outright by using a quitclaim deed or other instrument. This can happen if one spouse can prove that they contributed more financially or emotionally to the home than the other spouse did.
If neither of these options seems appropriate or like a satisfactory outcome, sometimes the couple will decide to sell the home and divide up the proceeds equally. Whatever option you choose, it's important to work with an experienced family lawyer who can help make sure your interests are protected during this difficult time.
The state you live in factors into the decision of who gets the house.
When it comes to who gets the house in a divorce settlement, it will depend on the state you reside in and the facts of your case. States can either be community property or equitable distribution states. In community property states, both spouses are usually awarded an equal share in the home. However, if one spouse can prove that they contributed more money or time to the upkeep of the home, they may be awarded a larger share.
In equitable distribution states, courts will take a variety of factors into account when deciding who gets the house, including each spouse's income and assets, the length of the marriage, and whether either spouse is currently living in the home. If one spouse is unable to afford to keep up with mortgage payments on their own, they may have to vacate the property. If you don’t live in a state with equitable distribution, your family lawyer should be able to help with the unique issues that come with this.
If one spouse must move, it means that they’re losing access to an asset that could have helped them move on from the divorce and move out of the home. This makes it even more important to find a moving company that will make your relocation to your new home easier for you. If you live in South Florida, movers in North Miami Beach are ready and available to move your belongings wherever you need, be that a new house, a condo, or a new place in an entirely different state. They’ll make the whole process hassle-free and do a great job at the same time.
Moving away from your home can seem like you’re leaving your world, especially after a painful divorce, so finding services to make the move easier on you can ease the ache.
The court will decide if the divorcees can’t decide.
If a divorcing couple cannot agree on who gets to keep the family home, the court will have to decide. The judge will look at several factors in making this determination, including who has been the primary caregiver of any minor children and who has been the breadwinner in the family. If one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent while the other worked, that spouse is likely to be given preference when it comes to keeping the home. The court may also consider which spouse is more likely to be able to afford mortgage payments and other associated costs on their own.
Overall, determining who gets the house in a divorce settlement is a very important decision, as time-consuming and stressful as it can be. The house is often the biggest asset that a couple has, and it can be very difficult to split. This can be made easier with a plan in place should things go sour for you, so seeking legal advice from professionals in the field of family law can only benefit your future.