Who gets to keep the home in a divorce?


Q: My husband and I have recently decided to divorce and our home is in both our names. Who will be awarded the home? Is there anything I can do to see that I keep the house in the divorce?

A: There are several things to consider when deciding who maintains ownership of the primary residence during and after a divorce. Because it is very difficult to live with a spouse during a contested divorce, either party may petition the court for temporary orders awarding exclusive use and possession of the marital home. As a general rule, but not always, the party who is in the best position to maintain the home after the divorce will usually be given temporary use status during the divorce. If there are minor children involved, the parent who is given temporary primary custody of the children will usually, but again, not always, remain in the house with the children. Make sure that if you are maintaining ownership of the property that you have sufficient means to keep up with the mortgage and other expenses. The house will not pay your bills.

Also, if you want to keep the home after the divorce it might not be in your best interest to voluntarily move from the home during the divorce, even if you think the move will be temporary or last only until divorce proceedings are over. This move might show the court that you are able to maintain a separate residence. It also may show the court that your chose to move away and not take responsibility for the property.

* As seen in Your Home and the Law, a weekly column in the Arizona Republic authored by the Attorneys at the Mesa, AZ law firm of JacksonWhite to clarify different legal issues unique to valley homeowners and renters.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Timothy Durkin, JacksonWhite, P.C. | Attorney Advertising

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