In many divorce cases the parties own a marital home. Often times, the home represents the most substantial asset owned by the parties.
If there are no minor children, then the court will likely order that the home be sold so that each party can receive their share of the equity in the home and be free of any outstanding mortgages.
Certainly the parties are free to negotiate a settlement where one party stays in the home. This is sometimes accomplished by one party refinancing the outstanding mortgage (and paying the other party a lump sum payment when circumstances call for it).
There are other times when the parties agree that one party will have ownership of the marital home and the other party will receive a retirement fund or other asset free and clear of any claim from the other party.
When there are minor children, the party who has the majority of overnights with the children will sometimes ask for exclusive, use and possession of the home. When granted, this allows the party in possession to remain in the home until the youngest child reaches the age of 18 (or graduates from high school) and is usally conditioned on the party in possession being unmarried.
Upon the termination of exclusive use and possession, the home is sold and the parties distribute the net proceeds per their prior agreement or per the court’s order.
Copyright © 2009 Steven A. Leitman
Original posting on 904Divorce.com