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Who takes ownership of a family’s house after a divorce

| Sep 30, 2020 | Divorce |

Michigan’s equitable distribution law considers property acquired while married as part of the marital assets. The court requires division of these assets during a divorce and generally splits the value of each asset fairly between two spouses. In the interests of a fair division, a judge may consider the length of the marriage and require spouses to show how much money they contributed toward their home.

The court may award ownership of a house to the spouse who worked and paid for its mortgage. As noted by the Michigan Legislature, the court may also decide fairness based on who provided a down payment for the home’s purchase or made improvements.

How can a parent keep the kids in the family home?

A parent who wishes to take sole ownership of the family’s primary residence so that the children remain living in it can assert his or her needs during the divorce. The court may award ownership of the house when naming the custodial parent.

Homeownership, however, may require a spouse to refinance a mortgage in his or her name only and remove the ex-spouse from the property title. As reported by Money magazine, a court may require someone to buy out the ex-spouse by providing his or her share of any remaining home equity.

How does a spouse determine whether the home is affordable?

A spouse may find that he or she needs financial support from the ex-spouse to afford the home’s mortgage, insurance and taxes. A divorce settlement may include child and spousal support that helps to afford the home’s upkeep. By preparing a budget in advance based on a single household income, a spouse may determine how much to request for support.