Do I Get to Keep my Home Upon Divorce?
I would say the number one question that people ask me when they are considering a divorce is whether or not they’ll have to leave their house. In my experience, that’s a very hard issue because neither party typically wants to leave their house. Although, often the parties between themselves decide who is going to leave the house. That’s one issue. Who’s going to leave? The second issue is what happens to the house after the divorce. Let’s take a case and obviously, either parent could be the custodial parent but for the purpose of this discussion, I’m going to say that there would be a stay-at-home mother who has young children in house and the male who, in this particular case, have been the breadwinner. So sometimes that’s more natural that he would leave because the children, not the wife, are accustomed to be in the house with the wife.
So then the question would be how long does she have the right to stay in the house with the children and how long does he have to wait for his share of the marital pie unless it’s traded-off with another asset in the marriage but assume it’s a case where there’s just a house and maybe a very small retirement plan so that most of the marital state is in the house and because it was a stay-at home even with child support, they can’t qualify for mortgage on their own but the countervailing factor here is that the children. They’re used to be in the house. They’ve suffered a trauma by the fact that they’re parents are divorcing and they need and want a stability of the house that they’ve grown up in. The court will look at the ages of the children and they’ll look for a natural break when it would be appropriate to move the children. That might be when they graduate from college. That might be when they graduate from high school. That might be when they transitioned from middle to high school or grade school to middle school.
So those are very discretionary factors because the court has to way the interests of the children and the spouse staying in the house against the interest of the spouse who’s waiting for the proceeds from the house because the spouse who’s waiting for the proceeds from the house is not right to deprive, in this example that I gave you, a mail of his money because he needs to move on and establish an appropriate residence for him to parent the children as well.
This informational blog post was provided by Cynthia Hanley, an experienced Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer.