Who Gets The House in a Divorce?
Today’s topic deals with who gets possession of the marital home during and after the divorce proceedings. The most important thing that I want to emphasize in regards to this topic, is that although I understand that it’s very difficult for couples who are contemplating or beginning a divorce to live in the same house during this time, it is important to note that you cannot kick your spouse out of the home during the divorce, even if the title and the loan are in your name alone. Just because your spouse has signed a quitclaim deed does not mean that you can keep him or her out of the home during the divorce. The judge still can award temporary possession of the home to the spouse who does not have his or her name on title or on the loan. Often, the judge will do this as a temporary measure during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. So please, think twice before changing the locks and kicking your spouse out of the home during your divorce proceedings.
The issue of who gets to keep the home does get resolved, but it usually happens towards the end of your divorce proceeding, usually around the last one or two hearings of your divorce case. This is determined by a judge, and it depends on whether the judge deems the property to be a community property or separate property. If the judge deems the property to be separate, the person who is deemed to have ownership of the property at the end of the divorce will get to keep the home. If the property is deemed to be a community property asset, then, if the couple cannot agree as to how to divide this property or who is to stay in the home, the judge may force the sale of the home and then whatever equity is left be divided between the couple.
This is a very simplistic explanation regarding this issue so I think that it is best if you are dealing with this issue to discuss this with an attorney so that you can make the right decisions for your case. Ultimately, you do not want to hurt yourself by doing something that could be used against you in your divorce.
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