Who gets the house in a divorce?
Sometimes the answer to simple questions are complex and the question “who gets the house in a divorce?” is a perfect example of this adage.
The answer to the question, “who gets the house in a divorce?” is . . . it depends.
The general rules of property division in a Michigan divorce provide that property acquired “by reason of the marriage” or “during the course of the marriage” is divided.
So, if the house was acquired by reason of the marriage or during the course of the marriage then the answer to the question “who gets the house in a divorce?” is the husband, the wife or neither, depending on the circumstances.
Property acquired by reason of the marriage or during the course of the marriage is labeled marital property, and property acquired prior to marriage or by inheritance and other special circumstances is called separate property.
In most cases, only marital property is divided. So if the house is separate property, the answer to the question “who gets the house in a divorce?” depends on when the property was acquired. If the house was acquired before the marriage, it is typically awarded to the premarital owner as separate property.
However, separate property can become marital property. For example, if property is owned before the marriage and refinanced during the marriage with cash-out, courts have interpreted the refinance as changing the status of the property from separate to marital and allowing a spouse to share in the property.
If the house is marital property (acquired by reason of the marriage or during the course of the marriage or separate property that has converted to marital property), the answer to the question, “who gets the house in a divorce?” remains complicated. The answer, the husband, the wife or neither. The husband can buy-out the wife’s interest, the wife can buy-out the husband’s interest or the house can be sold.
What if both parties want the house?
In this situation, the answer to “who gets the house in a divorce?” may depend on who is willing to give the other side more money to keep the house or simply have the house sold.
Sometimes the answer to simple questions are complex and the question who gets the house in a divorce is a perfect example of this adage.
If you want to keep the house in your Michigan divorce, or simply have questions about your Michigan divorce or family law case, let us help you develop an action plan and achieve your goals. We are ready to help.
About Findling Law:
I have been in practice for almost 20 years and practice exclusively in divorce and family law. My practice includes several attorneys who share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their life, without compromising principles. We have extensive experience in high socio-economic, high profile and high conflict cases which has nurtured a skill set applicable to all divorce and family law cases regardless of socio-economic status. We recognize that it is the application of the law that is most important aspect of practice. That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm.
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By: Daniel Findling