Divorce, property division and your house

You may have lived withyour spouse in your family home for the last 10 years, but after your divorce is finalized, you won’t be living with him or her anymore. One or both of you will have to move out and find a new home.

This begs the question: Who gets to keep the family home after a divorce?

A few scenarios regarding the family home and divorce

The question of who gets to keep the family home after divorce can be answered in a lot of different ways depending on the circumstances. Here are a few scenarios that detail how the family home could be treated in a New York divorce:

  • You owned the home before getting married and you don’t have children. If you owned the home outright prior to your marriage and you and your ex don’t have kids, then it’s likely that you’ll get to keep the home as separate property. That said, your spouse will probably have the right to receive compensation for increases in home value that happened during the time you were married.
  • You owned the home before getting married and you have children. In situations where the spouses have children, the spouse deemed to be the primary caretaker — and with whom the children will be living full-time after divorce — will be the one with a stronger claim on keeping the home. This is the case even if the other spouse owned the home outright before marriage. In this case, however, the other spouse should receive some form of compensation for the value of the home.
  • The spouses bought the home together after marriage. In this case, both spouses will own the home equally. As such, they will need to decide if they will liquidate the value of the home and split the proceeds, have one spouse buy out the other spouse, determine a way to divide other assets that compensates the spouse who doesn’t keep the home or find another creative solution.

Do you have questions about who will keep the family home in your divorce?

Every relationship and every family is different. As such, spouses need to consider their unique facts and situations before determining how their homes will be divided during marriage. Once the law and the best legal solution is fully understood, spouses can then start to formulate an asset division strategy for dividing their real estate.