Some houses are just places you live in, and some are homes. If yours falls into the latter category, you probably put in a lot of time and effort to make it that way.
Imbuing a property with character can be a lifetime's work, so you may be very keen to keep it when you divorce. Yet so may your spouse be. What then?
Can you divide a property?
There are some properties you can literally divide into two. Yet most family properties are not like that. Besides, even if you could, you might not be so keen on your new neighbor.
Typically what happens in divorce is one person keeps the property, and that is taken into account when dividing the rest of the assets. Or the couple puts it up for sale, and the proceeds go into the overall pot of assets to be split.
Can I beg the judge to let me keep the house?
If you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse, then you will need the judge to decide for you. While you can certainly try your best to persuade them to give you the property, there are no guarantees you will succeed. Their job is to reach an equitable division of assets. There are a few things that could swing the decision in your favor, though:
- The kids will live with you most of the time: You can argue that the property will provide stability and continuity for your children.
- You put more into the place than your spouse: This is not easy to measure, as people contribute to marriage in different ways. You might have made the place into a home, but your spouse can counter that you could only do that because they spent all their time working to fund it.
- Prior interest: Perhaps the land you built on belonged to your parents.
Getting help to understand how a court it likely to view your situation can help you decide on your divorce strategy. However much you love your house, property division is a trade-off and keeping it will come at some cost.