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Who will keep the house in my divorce?

Imagine you've lived in the same house with your spouse for the last 15 years. As much as you've become accustomed to being a married person, you've also become accustomed to your home. However, with your impending divorce, are you now in danger of losing your home? Who has the right to keep the family residence following a divorce?

Whether you'll be permitted to keep your family home or not will depend on a variety of factors. Let's take a look at some situations and see where you might stand:

If you have kids and you get full physical custody

Courts typically want the children to avoid moving when possible. The break-up of parents is difficult enough on the kids. If it's possible for your children to stay in the same residence, then the court will likely want the parent who gets full physical custody to keep the family home. This will help provide as much stability to the children as possible.

If you don't have kids and you owned the home before you got married

If this is the case and you don't have any kids, then the court will likely rule that your home is individual property and not subject to division. However, if you added your spouse's name to the deed of your home after marriage, then your spouse may have a viable claim to the property. Further, if your home increased in value, your spouse might be able to claim ownership of the unrealized gains in value the home earned while you were married.

If you bought the home together with your spouse after marriage

In this scenario, your spouse will be able to get part of the home -- or part of its value -- after getting divorced.

You may end up giving up other assets in order to keep your home. Alternatively, you might liquidate the home and split the proceeds with your spouse. Whatever your situation, you can find a legal asset division to suit your home division needs.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce property division FAQ," accessed Nov. 24, 2017