Which Spouse Gets the House In A Divorce?

Which Spouse Gets the House in a Divorce?When a married couple decides to end their marriage, one of the most difficult decisions may be deciding which spouse gets the house in a divorce. Division of property when a marriage ends is tricky, confusing and has long-lasting ramifications on each spouses future. Lucky for you, we have answers to this common question and expert family law attorneys waiting to speak with you to let you know how they can help your situation. Dividing property during a divorce can be difficult, particularly when attention turns toward the family home. If both spouses want to remain in the home, an argument may ensue. This can turn an uncontested divorce into a contested one, forcing the couple to go to court so a judge can decide who will retain the home. Involving a court adds time and expense to the divorce process. Speak to a family law professional right now and streamline your divorce process to save time, emotions, and money!

Do You Deserve to Keep the House in a Divorce?

The best way to determine who gets the house is to agree without intervention from a judge. A mediator or local family law attorney can help spouses deal with this situation. Through negotiation, one spouse may agree to give the house to the other in exchange for an asset of comparable value. This may involve the transfer of both physical items and cash. The spouse who retains the home may opt to keep it and live in it or may wish to eventually rent or sell the property.

If one spouse purchased the home prior to the marriage and is the sole owner, the house might not be considered marital property in divorce. It depends on whether both spouses made mortgage payments, the other spouse invested money to remodel the home, and other factors. If the value of the property increased during the marriage, that increase is often considered marital property and, therefore, subject to division during a divorce.

Some couples would rather sell their homes and divide the proceeds. This is permitted but the process can be complicated, so accounting and legal assistance are recommended. Cash received from the sale can serve as a down payment on a new home, allowing each former spouse to start fresh without memories of the failed marriage. Keep in mind that when a house needs to be sold in a divorce, costs such as Realtor commissions (up to 6% of the sale price in many areas of the country), back tax bills, and closing costs from the title insurance company can add up fast. Sometimes, if little or no equity is in the home, its better to be the spouse that walks away rather than the spouse that keeps the house in a divorce.

A spouse who inherits a home prior to the marriage and retains sole ownership will not usually need to include it in marital assets. However, an extra measure of precaution in the form of a prenuptial agreement is wise. A family law attorney will draft a sound document that will hold up in court if the couple divorces in the future.

The home is arguably the biggest cause of disagreement during property division in divorce. Agreeing who will retain ownership is better than fighting over the issue in court. Get legal assistance to make this process as simple and inexpensive as possible. Whether you want the home, want your spouse to have it, or prefer to sell it, a family lawyer will help make this happen. Speak to an expert divorce attorney today and find out if you deserve to get the house in a divorce!

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About the Author

Nicholas Baker is a practicing family law attorney with over a decade of experience handling divorce, child custody, child support, and domestic violence matters in the courtroom. Attorney Nicholas Baker believes in providing family law information for individuals so that they can make an informed decision about their own family law matter.

  1. Jessica Reply

    I need advice. My question is this…What steps do I need to take of getting a divorce? This would be my first divorce. with that being said, My husband put a down payment on our home for us to move in but we both are paying the mortgage each month. We haven’t lived in the home for very long, only about 4-5 months. I am not sure if I should move out but it’s hard for me to continue to constantly fight with each other in front of our children. Our children want to live with me but my husband wants them to live with him and he tries to change our children’s minds because he does not want me to put him on child support. We have been with each other for 17yrs, which will be a big change in my life. I just need to know of what steps to take and how should I go about these changes. We both have a full time job…I don’t get much but I know I have enough income of being able to raise our children alone. But I don’t have much to even hire on an attorney and move out at the same time. Please advise.

  2. JEFFREY COMPTON Reply

    I NEED ADVICE ON DIVORCE I HAVE BEEM MARRIED 20 YEARS I HAVE WORKED HARD IN COAL MINES 23 YRS TO PROVIDE THE BEST I COULD FOR MY WIFE AND 2 SONS ONE SON IN OUT ON HIS OWN I HAVE A 16B YEAR OLD WHO WANTS TO LIVE WITH ME. MY WIFE HAS LEFT ME THREE WEEKS AGO SHE SAYS SHES NOT HAPPY I HAVE BEGGED HER TO COME BACK BUT SHE REFUSES. SHE SAID ALL SHE WANTED WAS A VECHICLE AND SOME MONEY I WANT TO KEEP MY SON I AM HEART BROKEN PLEASE I NED ADVICE.

    • Nicholas Baker Reply

      File for divorce immediately and file a Petition for Temporary and Permanent Custody as well. Tell the judge that your child should stay living in the same house he has grown up in and that living with you is a better environment than with his unstable mother. Give us a call and one of our family law attorneys can help!

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