Who gets to stay in the house after a divorce is finalized?

When thinking about assets like money, it’s relatively easy to divide it among the two spouses during a divorce. While there may be disagreements about how much each spouse is entitled to, the actual act of division can be straightforward.

Other assets are harder to divide. This is especially true when it comes to the house that you and your spouse own.

For many couples, the house is also the single largest piece of marital property that needs to be divided. Additionally, the strong emotional ties people have with their homes makes it something that each spouse highly values.

Because of these factors, couples want to know which spouse will receive the house after the divorce is finalized.

How is the house divided?

If the house was purchased before your marriage by one spouse, that spouse would likely get to keep the property. The other spouse, however, may be entitled to some portion of the equity that has been built up.

If the house was purchased after your marriage, it will be divided between the two spouses. Alabama is an equitable distribution state. This means that the assets accumulated during the marriage will be shared equitably after a divorce.

Because you can’t cut it in two, one spouse will receive the house. The other spouse will receive other assets equal to approximately half the home’s value to help ensure the division is fair for both parties.

Who gets to stay in the house?

If you and your spouse have children, the parent with primary physical custody may be more likely to receive the house during the asset division process. This allows the children to remain in their home, thereby making the divorce easier on them.

If there are no children, or if the parents have joint physical custody, figuring out which parent ultimately gets the house becomes more complicated. Sometimes parents can come to an agreement together. If no agreement can be reached, a judge may be needed to arrive at a final decision.

Division of marital assets can be contentious. Understanding the legal procedures used to divide a home can help make the asset division process less stressful on both you and your spouse.