A large concern during divorce consultation is the marital home. What will happen? Can I stay? Will I be forced out? Can I afford it? How will the Court decide to which party the home is awarded? The answers to these questions will often determine the outcome of other issues within the property distribution.

Join me this week for the most frequently posted questions on this topic: What Happens to the Family Home in a divorce?

Let’s start with some initial questions.

 What is a marital home?

House-Plans-Child-FriendlyThis is where the parties lived during their marriage (or during the last several years of their marriage). This can be either an apartment or home, rented or owned.

 What if the deed and/or the mortgage are held in my husband’s name only? Does that make it “his house?”

It does not matter in whose name title is held. What matters is when the home was purchased, with which funds the home was paid for initially, which funds paid mortgage payments and with which funds the home was maintained.

Can I be forced to leave my home during the divorce?

During the divorce, the court will look to bring a status quo to the parties. If the parties are living in the home and that living arrangement is working, in general terms, the Court may order that the parties remain in the home together during the pendency of the divorce. If that arrangement is not working (ie there is fighting, violence, inability to cohabitate), the Court will order that one party vacate during the pendency of the divorce. The party that leaves is most often the party that ultimately remains out of the home permanently, but that is not always the case. If the parties require the Court to determine what will happen, either can file a motion for temporary orders.  See article about temporary orders at this link for Massachusetts.

In our next part of this series, we will cover whether you can keep the home, sale of the home and more.  Always remember to follow us on Twitter  and Facebook!