Can You Keep Your House in a Divorce?

Going through a divorce means addressing several critical matters, including the division of your marital property. As you deal with the division of your assets, you’ll have to consider what to do with your marital home.

It is possible to keep your house in a divorce, but depending on your situation, attempting to do so may require some time and effort. Fortunately, a divorce attorney can help.

Your Shared Home is Likely Marital Property

For property division purposes, it’s critical to determine between marital property and separate property. Separate property is property each spouse owned prior to entering the marriage. On the other hand, marital property is any property that either spouse acquires during the marriage.

If you and your spouse bought a home together, as many people do, it is almost certainly marital property. On the other hand, if your spouse owned the home prior to your marriage, it may be separate property. That said, even in that case, any appreciation of the home that occurred during your marriage is likely marital property.

Michigan handles property distribution under the concept of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution means your property is divided in a way that is equitable – or fair –  to both parties and their situation.  Because your home is likely marital property, it is part of the estate that is distributed between you and your spouse. However, this does not mean one spouse can’t keep the house.

Determining What to Do With Your House

Deciding what to do with your marital home is a major decision. You and your spouse can make the decision together, you can have a mediator help make the decision, or, if your case goes to trial, a judge can determine what happens to your home.

If you and your spouse are going through an uncontested divorce, you can work together to decide what happens to your house. Perhaps one of you wants to keep it, or you may decide to sell it and split the profits. On the other hand, one of you could buy the other’s interest in the property, either through a cash payment or adjusting the division of your other assets.

When you need some assistance with divorce matters, like property distribution, you could take your case to mediation. During mediation, the neutral third-party mediator can assist with creating a collaborative environment and healthy back-and-forth between you and your spouse. Mediation often helps with conflict resolution, and spouses can come to some agreement.

If you and your spouse are ultimately unable to work together and your divorce is contentious, your case goes to trial. During trial, you and your spouse have the opportunity to present your cases. The judge will then determine what will happen to your house. Possible outcomes include a sale of the home and the proceeds divided between you and your spouse or the judge allowing one party to keep the home and adjusting the division of the remaining assets accordingly.

Why Keep Your House in Your Divorce?

Everyone has different motivations for either wanting to get rid of their marital home or remaining in the house post-divorce. In many cases, spouses wish to remain in their homes when children are involved. They don’t want to cause more trauma and change, as divorce can already be stressful for kids.

Others simply just like their home and don’t wish to move. Size, style, and location are all reasons to want to keep a house.

Regardless of your reasoning for wanting to keep your marital home, a skilled divorce attorney can assist you with the matter. Your lawyer can represent your best interests throughout your divorce and work diligently to help get you the most beneficial outcome.

Call Us Today to Speak with a Troy Divorce Lawyer

If you are going through a divorce, it’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer right away. To schedule a consultation with a member of our team, call our office today or contact us online.

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