One of the most frustrating things about divorcing after being married for several years is thought of having to part ways with the home you've lived in for some time. Aside from it being perhaps the most expensive asset that you own, you've also likely developed a emotional connection to it.
Ideally, you'd be able to either sell the home and split the assets between you and your ex or maybe just simply accept one equally valuable asset in exchange for your spouse keeping another. If it's the only high value asset your own or you're both particularly connected to the home though, this may not be an option.
It's when couples can't reach an agreement between themselves that a judge is often called in to render a decision about who will end up with marital assets such as your home.
When it comes to deciding what happens with the marital home, it's fairly common for the judge to decide to award the family's house to the spouse who retains primary custody of the children over the one who does not. This often occurs because it ensures continuity in the life of the child.
If a judge does seem to be leaning toward awarding the home to the custodial spouse though, he or she will likely require them to prove that they can maintain the upkeep of it. Both child and spousal support will be considered as will income to determine if it's financially feasible for the spouse to continue to own the home.
One instance, though, in which a judge may be swayed to award the noncustodial parent the home is if it could be shown that it was inherited. If a home has long been in one of the spouse's families, then a judge is likely to disregard the fact that both of the spouses are listed on the deed.
In this case, although the spouse who can show family ownership of it is likely to retain it, he or she will likely have to give up another valuable asset in exchange.
Having a judge decide on the division of assets at the end of your marriage is not ideal. A Fort Myers divorce property division attorney can guide you as you look to negotiate a divorce settlement outside the courtroom.
Source: Realtor, "Getting a divorce? Here’s why you might not get the house," Warren Christopher Freiberg, accessed Nov. 10, 2017