Who Keeps the House in a Divorce?
For many people, what will happen to the family house during a divorce is a major concern. It only makes sense — the house is emotionally complex for you, your spouse, and your children. Plus, it’s where you live, so in addition to the emotions, there are a lot of logistics involved. Finally, it is also a large asset — sometimes one of the largest assets in the marriage.
Read on to learn more.
Two Main Questions About the Family House & Divorce
Let’s take some time to separate out the two main questions involving the family home:
- Who will live where during the divorce?
- Who will get the house post-divorce?
These are two separate issues in a divorce. The person who lives in the family home during the divorce isn’t necessarily the person who will keep the house following the divorce. In other words, just because one spouse lived in the house during the divorce, that doesn’t mean the same spouse is going to get the home after the divorce.
Who is Going to Live in the House During the Divorce?
Who will live in the family home — referred to as the “marital residence” in divorce law — is addressed by the “automatic orders.” The automatic orders are orders that automatically go into effect at the beginning of a divorce, legal separation, or custody action.
The automatic orders, which are explained in Connecticut Practice Book §25-5, provide that neither party may deny use of the family home to the other person without a court order if the spouses are living together on the date the court papers are delivered.
However, this default rule can be changed if the parties agree or the court orders a change.
Who Will Get the Marital Residence Post-Divorce?
The house is one of many items property that will be allocated between the spouses during “property division.”
Connecticut is an all property, equitable distribution state. What that means is that in a Connecticut divorce, family law courts have broad authority to award marital property like the house to either spouse, regardless of:
- how it is titled
- when it was acquired
- or whether it was received as a gift or inheritance.
In other words, which means that everything that either spouse owns is fair game when it comes to dividing things up in divorce.
The Comprehensive Connecticut Property Division Guide
How to divide property is one of the most important issues in divorces. And, it’s one of the most confusing. There are no set formulas or rules on how property will be divided. The good news is that creates tremendous flexibility for experienced divorce attorneys to craft an individualized approach. In order to prepare to make solid and informed decisions, you need to understand how property division works. Our Comprehensive Connecticut Property Division Guide tells you everything you need to know about property division in Connecticut.
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