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Who will get the family home in my divorce?

Home is where the heart is, and when your heart is aching during the process of going through a divorce, a safe and cozy home is so incredibly important. This brings up the very important question of who will get to keep the family home in your divorce. Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer to this question because it depends on you and your family's circumstances.

If you and your soon-to-be ex have children together, then a court might rule that whichever partner does most of the parenting should be permitted to keep the family home. However, if one of the spouses bought the home with his or her separate funds, and the couple has no children, then the spouse who purchased the home may be able to keep it and require the other spouse to leave.

That said, in most cases that do not involve children, neither spouse will have the ability to require the other to vacate the property aside from asking nicely. When spouses can't agree on who will stay and who will leave, the court will need to intervene.

It's important for spouses to remember that it is illegal to lock the other spouse out of the home. If this happens, the other spouse can contact local authorities. However, spouses can prevent a spouse who is committing domestic violence from entering the home, and in this situation, the spouse being abused should call the police and ask for a restraining order.

In most situations, North Carolina spouses will come to agreement on their own about who will keep the home. Meanwhile, the spouse who does not keep the home will usually receive equal compensation in the form of other assets and property. If sufficient assets and property don't exist, or the spouse who wants to keep the home cannot obtain financing to buy out the other spouse, then the home may need to be liquidated as a part of the asset division process. For help with the legal aspects of asset division and dividing the family home, North Carolina residents may want to speak with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ," accessed Dec. 09, 2016