When a couple divorces in California, one of the first things they need to figure out is who will keep the house. Dividing up property can be complicated, and it's important to understand all of your options before deciding.
If you're considering divorce, here are a few things you should know about who keeps the house in a California divorce.
In a divorce, the court will issue an order dividing the property and debts of the marriage. The court considers all the couple's assets and liabilities to be marital property, even if they are only in one person's name. This includes money in checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, vehicles, businesses, investments, and belongings.
The court will also divide the couple's debts, including credit card balances, mortgages, car loans, and student loans. The court will consider both spouses' incomes and needs when dividing property and debts.
In California, property acquired during the marriage is considered community property. This means that it will be divided equally between the spouses in a divorce. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if one spouse owned a house before the marriage, it may be considered separate property and not subject to division in a divorce.
An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all the terms of the divorce, including how to divide property and debts and whether or not spousal support will be paid. A contested divorce is when the spouses do not agree on one or more terms of the divorce. If a couple cannot reach an agreement, they will have to go to court, and a judge will make the decisions for them.
If the house is in one person's name, that does not mean it is automatically their separate property. The court will still look at factors like when the house was purchased and whether both spouses contributed to the mortgage, taxes, and upkeep of the property. If the house was purchased during the marriage, it is likely that the court will consider it community property and divide it equally between the spouses (and the house would be involved in dividing all community property.)
The court may award one spouse the house if there are minor children involved and it would be in the best interests of the children to remain in their home. The court may also consider other factors, such as which spouse can afford to keep the house and whether one spouse will get another property after the divorce.
Contact us if you are looking to keep your house or other assets during your divorce. We can help you understand how California law applies to your situation and what options are available to you. Call us today to speak to a legal professional.