California Divorce Who Gets the House

California Divorce: Who Gets the House?

Divorce is never an easy process, and one of the most complex aspects is dividing property. One of the biggest questions that arises is: Who gets the house? In California, the division of assets, including the marital home, follows community property laws. Here is everything you need to know about how the courts determine who gets the house in a California divorce.

Community Property Laws in California

California is one of nine states that follow community property laws. This means that any property acquired during the marriage is considered community property and is subject to equal division between the spouses, regardless of who holds the title. This includes the marital home.

Factors Considered by the Courts

While community property laws provide a starting point for property division, the courts also consider several factors when determining who gets the house. These include:

1. Length of the marriage: The longer the marriage, the more likely it is that the court will divide the property equally.
2. Earning capacity and financial needs of each spouse: The court takes into account the income and financial needs of both spouses when making property division decisions.
3. Child custody arrangements: If there are children involved, the court may prioritize the spouse who has primary custody in order to provide stability for the children.
4. Domestic violence or abusive behavior: The court may consider incidents of domestic violence or abusive behavior when making property division decisions.
5. Contributions to the acquisition or improvement of the property: If one spouse made significant financial contributions to the acquisition or improvement of the property, they may be awarded a larger share.

See also  What to Do With Old Wedding Dress After Divorce

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I keep the house if it was mine before the marriage?
– Generally, any property acquired before the marriage is considered separate property and is not subject to division. However, if you commingled your separate property with community funds, it may be subject to division.

2. What if my spouse wants to keep the house, but I don’t?
– If both spouses agree, one can buy out the other’s share of the house. Otherwise, the court may order the sale of the property and divide the proceeds.

3. Can I kick my spouse out of the house during the divorce process?
– Generally, both spouses have equal rights to the marital home until a court order or agreement states otherwise.

4. Can I be forced to sell the house even if I want to keep it?
– In some cases, the court may order the sale of the house if it is in the best interest of both parties or if neither can afford to maintain it.

See also  How Much Does It Cost to Make a Golf Cart Street Legal

5. What if the house is underwater (worth less than the mortgage)?
– In such cases, the court may consider other assets or debts to balance the division of property.

6. How is the value of the house determined for property division?
– The value is typically determined by an appraisal conducted by a licensed professional.

7. Can I negotiate a different property division arrangement with my spouse?
– Yes, you can negotiate a different arrangement through mediation or with the help of attorneys.

8. What happens if we co-own the house with someone other than my spouse?
– The court will only divide the portion of the property owned by you and your spouse.

9. Can I get the house if I can prove my spouse cheated on me?
– Infidelity generally does not have a direct impact on property division unless it resulted in economic harm to the marital estate.

Divorce is a complicated and emotional process, especially when it comes to dividing property. Understanding the community property laws and the factors considered by the courts can help you navigate the process more effectively. It is essential to consult with an experienced divorce attorney to protect your rights and ensure a fair division of assets, including the marital home.

See also  Which Settlement Option Pays a Stated Amount to an Annuitant but No Residual Value