How to Keep Your House in a Divorce

by Cayden Conor

In many states, when you get divorced, division of assets is determined by equitable distribution. In order to keep the marital home, you must be able to pay for the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and repairs on your own, unless you are entitled to alimony. The alimony award must be large enough to cover the expense of the marital home either by itself or combined with your income.It is never a guarantee that you will receive the marital home. The best you can do is request that you have sole and exclusive use and title to the home. If you can make an agreement with your spouse regarding ownership of the martial home, you will not have to worry about what the Judge may order. It is always in your best interest to try to divide your assets and liabilities in a fair and reasonable manner, even if you cannot agree on other issues such as custody and visitation.

Request sole and exclusive use and title to the marital home if you are awarded primary custody of the minor children.

Prove that your spouse cannot afford the marital home. This would include mortgage payments, insurance payments, taxes and upkeep of the marital home in addition to all utilities.

Make an agreement with your spouse to buy him or her out. Under any of these circumstances, if you are in an equitable distribution state, you will have to forfeit other assets (to your spouse) equal to the value of the marital home.

Request alimony. If you are requesting and are awarded alimony, you can request sole and exclusive use and title to the marital home for a partial or full lump sum payment of alimony.

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  • If you cannot come to an agreement regarding the distribution of assets, the Judge will make the decision for you. The outcome may be worse than the proposed settlement agreement. If you can agree to a certain sum of liquid cash or other assets, or if your spouse agrees to buy you out of the marital home, review this type of offer carefully. It may be in your best interest to accept such an offer and purchase another home.

About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.