In a California divorce, determining who gets the house is often one of the biggest points of contention between you and your spouse. A house is typically the family’s most valuable asset and sometimes there is an emotional attachment to the house as well.
There are many things to keep in mind when figuring out who will get the house or whether it will be sold, including: which spouse can afford to keep the house, tax implications, reimbursements, and if there are children, where the children will live.
The first step is to determine who owns the house. That may seem like a simple task but under California divorce law, it is not always a cut and dry issue. Most property, including a house, purchased during the marriage is considered community property and therefore would be divided during the divorce.
There are a couple of scenarios that make the issue more complex. What if the house was purchase before the marriage, or what if there is only one of the spouse’s name on the title? Generally speaking, a house purchased before the marriage will be considered that spouse’s property unless it can be proven that the other spouse contributed money towards the mortgage payments or for improvements made to the home during marriage.
If a house was purchased during the marriage but only one spouse’s name is on the title, California divorce law will generally not give the title too much consideration as it can be a common practice. However, having one spouses name on the title can cause some complexity and it is important that you bring it to the attention of your attorney quickly.
Additionally, California freezes the sale or mortgaging of a home during a divorce. Even if the property is under a sole person’s name, a spouse or court’s approval is required to put your marital home on the open market.
When asking the question “who gets the house in a California divorce?” there are many factors involved before a decision can be made. Contact Thorsteinson Law Group to schedule your consultation and discuss your situation.