A family home is often the most valuable marital asset, both in terms of monetary and emotional value. As such, dividing it is a difficult undertaking. When a couple is unable to reach an independent solution as part of an uncontested divorce settlement, they can turn to the precedents set by divorcees before them.
Keeping the House
As a home cannot be split down the middle or shared in a custody-like situation, any divorce settlement that results in someone keeping the house will be by sole ownership. Still, even when one spouse is awarded the full physical home, the court may order the homeowner spouse to buy out their partner’s share of the property.
If there are children involved, the final custody arrangement can heavily influence the judge’s decision. More often than not, a court will favor the custodial parent in deciding to whom the house will go in order to provide the child with a greater sense of stability.
Selling the House
Alternatively, a judge could instruct a couple to sell their marital home and divide the profit between the pair. Doing so can offer a cleaner break and allow the two to move on without being housed in a space exuding memories of their marriage at every angle.
Whatever the judge’s ultimate decision is, they have the option of granting a spouse the right to remain in the house temporarily if need be, even if they’ve ruled for the home to be given to the other party. They may do this as a way to allow the spouse to have a safe place to stay while they arrange for their next steps in life.