Can I Keep My House in the Divorce?

In a Charleston divorce, it is common for one or both of the spouses to want to keep the marital home. Many people getting divorced have minor children from the marriage, and they want to continue to raise the kids in the home that they have come to know and in which they have become comfortable. When you are getting divorced and wondering whether you can keep your house — the marital home you shared with your ex — it is important to understand the distinctions between being able to keep the house and whether you should actually try to keep the house in the divorce. Our Charleston divorce lawyers can explain in more detail.

You May Be Able to Keep the Marital Home If You Have Child Custody or Enter Into an Agreement

You may be more likely to keep the family home — that is, to be awarded the house in the property division phase of your divorce — if you want to raise your children in it (and have custody of minor children from your marriage). You also may be able to keep the house if you enter into a marital settlement agreement with your ex.

When the court considers equitable distribution factors, one of those factors it will consider is “the desirability of awarding the family home as part of equitable distribution or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of any children.”

Considerations for Keeping the House Should Also Be Weighed

Even if the court is willing to award the family home to you because you have custody of your minor children and want to stay in the house without having to uproot them, or even if you can reach an agreement with your spouse in a marital settlement agreement to keep the house, should you do it? In other words, does it actually make sense for you to keep the family home? Here are some considerations that you should weigh when you are fighting to keep the house you shared with your ex:

  • Tax consequences of keeping the house, including whether taxes on the property could potentially result in your ultimately receiving an unfair apportionment of marital property when you account for the taxes on the house over a period of years;
  • Upkeep costs of the house, especially if you have an older home in Charleston, and how those costs could ultimately mean that your ex received an unfair distribution of marital assets when you take into account the costs of repairs and upkeep over the months and years following your divorce being finalized;
  • Your ability to maintain the house by yourself, especially if you shared a larger home with your ex;
  • Amount of money still owed on the house and the interest rate under the current mortgage;
  • Ability to refinance the house and how good (or bad) the terms of the refinance might be; and
  • Value of selling the family home now and having the profits distributed equitably between you and your ex based on the range of factors applied by the court, especially given the higher real estate values in the current market.

Contact a Charleston Divorce Attorney

When you have questions about keeping certain assets in a divorce, including a family home, you should discuss the benefits and limitations with our Charleston divorce attorneys. We can speak with you about the advantages and limitations, and what options you may have. Contact The Peck Law Firm online or call us at 843-631-7117 today.

Recommendations For Additional Reading

What Are Hidden Assets in a Divorce?
What You Should Know About Property Division in Your Divorce
Do You Need a Marital Agreement?