It is usual for someone going through a divorce to be concerned about keeping the house they shared with their spouse during their marriage. Buying a home is one of the most critical events in a person’s life, and it is not uncommon for either of the spouses to want to keep it. Contact a Boston divorce attorney to get the best services for your divorce proceedings. 

When is the home considered marital property?

The first and foremost question asked in such a situation is when the house was bought. If it was bought after the couple got married, it is marital property and must be included in the divorce proceedings and other properties. In such a case, the property will be divided equitably between both parties. In such cases, the property gets divided between the couple according to their preferences and what suits them best. 

Divorcing couples going through trials who cannot decide who gets to keep the house go for a contested divorce. The court will have to intervene and arrange for them in such a case. 

Provisional orders:

In special cases, the court will order one of the parties to leave the house until a decision is made; this mostly happens when domestic violence and restraining orders occur. Nevertheless, this temporary order does not direct who will receive the property. 

How does the court decide?

There is not a factor that might solidify one party’s claim to the property. The court will examine all the factors that might be crucial for a final verdict on home ownership. 

Some factors are:

  1. The duration of the marriage 
  2. The time when the house was purchased
  3. The money spent by either of the parties
  4. Who took care of the upkeep and everyday needs of the house. 
  5. The health conditions of both the parties
  6. The current age of the parties
  7. The income of either of the parties

Most important factors for the ownership contest:

  • How much equity is of each party.

During a divorce, the equity of the house is divided equally. Assuming one of the partners wants complete ownership of the house, they have to give something to the other partner to complete the equity deficit. 

  • Custody of the children.

The court may grant the property ownership to the spouse who gets custody of the children from the marriage. The homeownership may also be looked at as a part of child support that is to be paid by either of the spouses. In such situations, neither of the parties has to lose ownership of the house but wait for the house to be sold so that they can receive their share of the property’s value.