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What Happens To The House During A Divorce?

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One of the big questions you may have about getting a divorce is what will happen to your house. It is one of the most expensive assets that you have together, and figuring out what to do with it can be a challenge. Here are some possibilities for what can happen to the home.

The Home Is Sold

The simplest solution to figure out what happens with the house is to sell it. This is ideal when neither person wants to stay in the home and both people have been contributing equally to the mortgage payments. The money from the sale of the home will then be split appropriately to make it as fair as possible.

The Home Goes To The Parent With Physical Custody

If you have kids from your marriage, it is likely that the home will go to the parent that also has physical custody. The reason for this is to keep things as normal as possible for the children, since they will still have their bedroom, go to the same school, and live near all of their friends. Giving the home to the parent with physical custody will be what is in the best interest of the children rather than either spouse. 

However, keeping the home due to having physical custody does not mean that you automatically get a very valuable asset for free. There may be conditions put on having the home to make things fair for everyone. For example, there may be a date that the house must be sold by, typically after children move out of the home once they are over the age of 18. The spouse that retains the home may be required to buy out the other spouse's share of the home, which requires that share to be paid for over the years to retain complete ownership of the home. 

The Home Goes To The Original Owner

Was the home a premarital asset that belonged to a specific person before the marriage? This could make the process of deciding who owns the home very simple since the home would go to the original owner. However, that is only the case if the home was completely paid off before the marriage. It gets complicated when one spouse purchased the home, but the other spouse contributed to the mortgage payments after the marriage took place. The original property owner may still lose the house, but be awarded a larger share to reflect the amount that they paid into it before the marriage.

For more information, contact a divorce attorney.