Who Gets to Keep the House in a Divorce?

When it comes to divorce, the house is easily one of the most valuable assets in the marriage. But when it comes to who gets to keep the house in a divorce, the answer isn’t always simple.

In a perfect scenario, spouses will negotiate and choose what works best for them in terms of whether one of the spouses should keep the house or whether it should be sold. If an agreement can’t be reached or if both spouses want to keep the house, then negotiations can turn sour fast. If couples can’t come to terms on who gets the house, the court will decide for them.

In general, when a judge takes control, the house will be awarded to one spouse or sold.

If the house is awarded to one spouse, it is very likely that the spouse keeping the house will need to pay a certain portion of the equity (likely half) to the other spouse. One or both of the spouses may not be able to afford to keep the house. This is one of the considerations in determining whether it is kept or sold. Since both parties have equal claim to the home, the judge may just order that it be sold.

What the judge orders may not always be ideal but can’t agree upon who gets to keep it, the judge could still order it to be sold. In this scenario, neither spouse gets what they wanted. Therefore, it’s always better to work things out through mediation.

Premarital vs. Marital Assets

In very simple terms, property that you acquired with your own money before marriage is known as premarital assets. Marital assets, on the other hand, are acquired during the marriage. Marital assets are subject to equitable division in Oregon. Premarital assets may remain with their respective owners, but they are also subject to division if necessary to achieve an equitable result. The Oregon divorce courts have a lot of power. The analysis is not a simple one because

Premarital assets can get commingled with marital assets during the marriage. A number of factors play into this analysis That means even if the house belonged to one spouse before the marriage, the other spouse can still claim an equitable interest in the house. It is very important to seek the advice of a family law attorney as your spouse could acquire what you consider to be your home in a divorce situation.