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Who Gets the House After Your Divorce?

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Authored by Thea Tan in Divorce
Published on 01-08-2009

Though you may have an emotional attachment to your conjugal house, you have to consider the practicality of keeping it after your divorce. Will you be able to buy it out and pay the bills?

Child custody is another consideration. If you are not okay with completely taking care of the children, then it’s almost logical to expect that the house won’t be given to you. Owning the house is usually tantamount to child custody. Though this may be the case, the children should never be used as an excuse to own the house.

The usual reason for selling the house after a divorce is that neither party can keep paying for it alone. If either of you can, one can sell his or her half to the able spouse.

If you do decide to keep the house, it is advisable to ask your ex-spouse to move out as soon as possible. This actually gives you a good chance at owning the house immediately because your partner’s leaving the house may be seen as a generous act of forfeiting ownership. In the same way, you may opt for removal in this situation. This will allow you temporary absence. Keep in mind that the other party may also file for temporary stay in the house as he or she is preparing to leave.

If you run a business in the house, then you have greater chances at ownership. It will be inconvenient for the other party to own the property when it is not possible for you to move your business to another location. Your business proves how much more valuable the house is to you than to the other party.

Always ask for legal advice. Financial stability will be your primary concern because you have to shoulder subsequent house payments. Also consider house repair expenses and whether you will fix things yourself or need professional help. Though it’s possible to get child support or alimony, you should not expect to get more than that.

It will be a wise move to have a backup plan in case the other party receives ownership of the house. You should never act as if the house will automatically be yours. Don’t become overconfident about the situation.

If the house is eventually handed over to you, it will be a smart move to change the locks as soon as you have it all on your own. This way, you can prevent people who previously have access to the house from entering without your permission. Installing an alarm is also recommended.

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