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Who gets the house?

| Jan 4, 2021 | Divorce |

After childcare, decisions about who gets the house usually the most contentious conversations during divorce. The longer you live with your spouse under the same roof, the more likely each of you is to feel you deserve to continue living there.

As a result, deciding who gets the house is usually somewhat complicated. To make matters worse, Michigan is not a simple 50-50 state for divorce.

Equitable division

Rather than dividing everything in your marriage in half, Michigan law operates under the principle of equitable division. As explained on FindLaw, this could give judges considerable discretionary power in deciding who owns — and should continue to live in — your marital home.

In simple terms, the court tries to decide what is most fair for everyone. If you and your spouse have very different ideas about what is fair, it could result in a long discussion.

Possible exemptions

There is a possibility that you own the house outright already. To determine this, you need to know what defines a marital asset.

Judges generally decide based on ownership. Anything you and your spouse bought together or helped maintain together would probably be a marital, at least to some degree.

For example, if you bought your house or made mortgage payments during your marriage, the court might look at it as marital property. In contrast, if you inherited your home before your marriage and an independent trust paid your taxes, your spouse would probably have a hard time convincing the court that the home was a marital asset.

Other concerns

Of course, you might not hold much equity in your home at all. In that case, you might need to work with your spouse to distribute debt fairly. There are too many potential variations to list here, but the short answer is that your solution will probably be as unique as your home.