The family home is the most prized possession of every married couple.  However, this becomes one of the major problems later when couples decide to file a divorce and put an end to their marriage.  But, who really gets the house after a divorce? Read further to find out.

If there are children involved:

house after divorceIn most cases, the spouse who is being awarded custody of children will be the one to get the house after a divorce. One of the main reasons for this is to allow children to go on with their lives under the same roof and prevent them from experiencing much difficulty with their parents’ divorce.

However, who will have custody of the children is for the court to decide.  The court will then see to it what is best for the interest of every child. If the court finds that the house is not the place where kids can live happily, then the parent who will be awarded custody will not be able to live in that same house.

If there are no children involved:

On the other hand, if the divorce does not involve any kids then chances are the court will then decide regarding equitable division. If the house has a mortgage that still needs to be paid the court will then try to find out which spouse can afford to pay for the mortgage.

What the spouses can afford when they were still together may not be true anymore now that they will be living separately. The final divorce decree must include the rules regarding which spouse will be asked to refinance the house.  Otherwise, if nobody can afford to pay for the mortgage all alone the court will then order for the house to be sold.

If nobody can afford to pay the mortgage:

The court must make sure that the one who is awarded the house can afford to pay the mortgage.  This is to avoid any trouble in the future when for example the wife gets the house, but the mortgage is under the husband’s name.  But, later the wife becomes unable to pay the mortgage then the husband’s name now becomes at stake. As a result, the divorced couple will be in serious trouble all over again.

One must also remember that the court cannot remove someone’s name from the loan just to favor one spouse or the other.  Furthermore the court also has to make sure that the other spouse who gets the house will not be starved to death just because all his earnings have been used to pay for the mortgage.  This is when “refinancing” or “selling” the house becomes a better option.  If the spouse with whom the house is awarded cannot acquire refinancing within the required time, then the house has to be sold.  If possible, the house must be sold at a price that both spouses can pay the remaining balance of their mortgage.

Hannah is running the project, How Much Is It? Her project is dedicated to helping people around the globe find the prices on just about anything. Reach out to her on Twitter – @howmuchforit