Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

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When a marriage is coming to an end, divorce property division is often one of the biggest concerns. Determining house ownership in a divorce is perhaps the most pressing of these concerns during the process.

Understanding the factors that are considered during divorce property division in Arizona can help you find out who gets the house in a divorce.

Understanding Community Property Laws

Since your home is your largest asset, you are right to be worried about who will get the house in a divorce. As a community property state, those divorcing in Arizona will need to divide anything they acquire together equally.

Many couples buy a home when they get married, which would mean the house belongs to both of you in equal parts. However, if one of you owned this home before marriage or it was acquired as a gift or inheritance, things become trickier.

You’ll need to decide how to divide up your debts and property. If you can’t reach an agreement, the court may do this for you. It helps to have a divorce attorney who can help you work toward a favorable situation as you move forward with your life.

What to Know About Divorce Property Division

According to the law, most of the assets you acquire together during your marriage belong to you both equally. When you decide to dissolve the marriage and part ways, you will need to determine the value of your assets or allow the court to do it for you.

In either scenario, you will need to figure out which debts and assets are marital or separate. Determining the value is essential before dividing up marital property, especially when deciding on house ownership in a divorce. With the community property state laws, most debts or assets will be shared equally. 

Anything that belonged exclusively to you prior to marriage is not considered community property. However, you must have financial records that support your claim. It’s also possible for either spouse to change a separate asset into a marital asset or vice versa during the course of the marriage.

Additionally, you can change something that was separate property into marital property by commingling these things inadvertently — commonly the case with bank accounts. Likewise, if both of you contribute mortgage payments on the house that was owned only by one of you, then it could become marital property.

Options for Property Division Regarding House Ownership in Divorce

When a home is deemed community property, it will be divided by either selling it or having one spouse buy out the other. Selling the house and splitting the net equity may be the easiest way to divide the property.

However, you may not want to give up the home you’ve been living in for all these years. A buyout may work if one of you is willing to sell your share of the equity and refinance only in one name. Buyouts tend to occur through refinancing. As part of the new loan, the lender will pay for the buyout and put it in the new mortgage created for the spouse keeping the house.

Who Gets the House in a Divorce When You Can’t Agree?

Even if a divorce is amicable, deciding who gets to keep the home you shared can quickly cause conflict. The experienced legal team at the Law Office of Cosmas Onyia can help you protect your best interests and make the best decisions during this difficult process. You can explore more about divorce cases and how to split up the property with the assistance of our compassionate law group.