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Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

arguing couple

Anyone getting divorced needs to consider their real estate assets

Disputes over major assets like your home are common among those who are getting divorced. That’s not surprising since a home is one of the largest major assets of any couple. What is surprising is that many who go through a divorce are clueless when it comes to having answers to important questions such as “Who gets the house in a divorce?” Both parties need to face facts, however, whether they’re considering the marital home or investment properties.

Why me?

There are many reasons couples get divorced, not the least of which is issues over finances. If you are facing this tough decision, you probably don’t want to think about your assets, but you need to.

California Law

According to California Law, “Separate property is defined as anything acquired by a spouse before the marriage, during the marriage by gift or bequest, and after the parties separate. The law requires that the community estate be divided equally if there is no written agreement requiring a particular division of property.”

With that in mind, the most important thing to take into account is the date of purchase. If you bought the property before walking down the aisle, then that home is considered a pre-marital asset, as long as you’ve kept the ownership in your name only. However, if it’s a vacation home we’re talking about, keep in mind, when the owner spouse shares the use of the property, solitary ownership dissolves.

On the other hand, when a couple buys a home together, that property is considered a marital asset. That calls for equitable distribution between spouses.

Clean Break or Contentious Divorce

Of course, in a clean break where both parties are civil, the process can be clean and simple. It’s when both parties want the house that we see issues arise. If one spouse wants the house and the other is fine with that solution, official deeds, obligations, rights, and mortgages can easily be changed by your attorney. If both want to keep the property, only a judge can decide who gets the house in a divorce.

Local Divorce Attorneys

Read the reviews on this Yelp Page of the 10 Best Divorce Attorneys in Santa Barbara to find the right person to work with. Then call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal(at)montecito-estate(dotted)com and I can help you find a new home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities. I can also add your home to my portfolio of fine homes at the same time and take the property headache out of the “who gets the house in a divorce” dilemma.

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