In California, marital property is divided equally among spouses. The state applies the law of community property when a couple is getting divorced. The house is part of the community property. Both spouses have an equal share in the house. However, both spouses cannot live in the home together after the divorce.
Financially, the spouse who stays in the home would need to give their spouse other assets to pay them for their share of the house. The spouse who stays in the home would need to make the calculation about whether they can afford the payments on the home and whether they have enough money to pay the other spouse for their share. If neither spouse can afford to keep the home, they would need to sell it and divide the proceeds equally between the two of them.
Both spouses may want to stay in the house. If there are children involved, the court may decide who gets to stay based on what is in the best interests of the children. The parent who is awarded physical custody would likely be the one to stay.
If one spouse owned the house before the marriage, it would be considered separate property. However, the equity that was built in the house during the marriage could make the house community property, complicating how the house would be divided in the marriage. Nevertheless, the spouse who owned the house before the marriage would likely be the one who gets to stay in the home after the divorce is final.
Contact a Marin County Divorce Attorney Today
Even though California uses the law of community property, financial matters in a divorce are often much more complicated than they seem. To speak with an experienced divorce attorney at the Mason Law Office, you can send us a message online or call us today at 833.770.1372.