If you and your spouse are separating, who gets to keep the house is surely a pressing question. Reach out to Heather Ward Law today for legal help you can trust.
Sometimes, the hardest part of getting a divorce isn’t the decision to part ways in itself; instead, it’s deciding how property will be divided, where shared children will live, and what the details of a divorce settlement will be. At Heather Ward Law, our experienced Massachusetts divorce lawyer knows that for property owners, a challenging issue to resolve is often that of who gets to keep the house. As you navigate your divorce, consider the following about property division laws in Massachusetts, and call our law firm for counsel that’s personalized to you–
Equitable Division of Property in Massachusetts
Couples are encouraged to work together to divide property in a manner that they both find fair. However, if working together to reach a property division settlement isn’t possible, then the court will intervene. If the court gets involved, it must divide marital property–property that was acquired during the course of the marriage–in a way that is equitable. While not necessarily equal, an equitable division of property must be fair to both parties.
In considering who gets to keep a marital home, the court may consider a number of factors, including:
- Was the home acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage? If so, it may be separate property.
- Have both parties contributed to the mortgage, upkeep, and maintenance of the home?
- Are there any children living in the home? If so, which parent will have the majority of parenting time with these children?
- What are the assets of each party?
- What is the income, education, and job status of each party?
- How long has the couple been married?
- Has either spouse engaged in economic misconduct?
Options for Splitting a Home in a Divorce
In nearly all cases, it is best if you and your spouse can work together to come to an agreement about what should become of a marital home rather than turning to the court – litigation is time-consuming, expensive, and divisive. Some options for managing a home in a divorce include:
- One spouse buys out the other spouse’s half of the home;
- The spouses sell the home and split the profits;
- One spouse gets the home in exchange for another large asset or set of assets;
- Both spouses continue owning the home, with the spouse who is living in the house responsible for the mortgage; or
- Both spouses continue owning the home and engage in “nesting,” where parents rotate in and out of the home to share custody of a child, who permanently remains in the home.
Protecting Your Best Interests in a Divorce
If keeping your home is one of the most important things to you as you are divorcing from your spouse, our lawyer at the office of Heather Ward Law can help. Attorney Heather Ward can help you to take steps to keep your home, including gathering evidence to support your cause and representing you in negotiations. To learn more or schedule your free consultation, call today at (617) 903-8955.