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Considering the family home in divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2022 | Divorce |

Many couples file for divorce in Georgia every year. Equitably dividing property is one of the challenges of this process. Discussions around a family home can be a point of contention due to emotional ties and the property’s financial value.

Staying in the home during a divorce

Once a couple begins the divorce process, deciding who should stay or leave the family home may be difficult. Getting divorced can take some time, so moving out will mean additional living costs.

If the couple can amicably remain under the same roof, they might agree to a temporary living arrangement. Both parents staying in the home can provide stability during a difficult time if children are involved.

However, most couples no longer want to live together after they have started divorcing. The person who gets to stay in the house may be the spouse with a stronger claim to the property. For the sake of any children, the couple might also choose to let custody discussions determine who should remain in the family home.

Determining ownership of the home

Georgia uses an equitable distribution method for handling marital property in a divorce. The court does not have to divide assets perfectly. Instead, the court bases the division of property on what it determines to be fair in the given situation.

Family court judges often rule that the house belongs to the custodial parent to minimize the disruption in children’s lives. However, a judge might order the sale of the house if there are no liquid assets to maintain the home.

Equitable distribution only applies to property acquired or paid for during the marriage. If one of the spouses owned the property outright before the union, it is considered separate property that belongs to the owner by default.

Divorce is a challenging decision that requires careful preparation. Considering your hopes and needs for the future can help you have an informed negotiation about owning your home after the separation.