Who Gets The House In A Divorce?

One of the most stressful aspects of a divorce is dividing up the property you and your spouse shared during your marriage. While some items might be easy to distribute, you may be wondering about how to handle bigger assets. For example, which one of you will get the house in a divorce?

What Happens to the Marital Home

In Arizona, real property is often considered community property, since spouses generally buy a home together.

In a divorce, however, the marital home does not automatically become the sole property of one spouse. The home is usually divided among the spouses. This can be accomplished a couple of different ways:

  • One spouse “buys out” the other spouse, by accepting less of the community property to balance out the amount of equity owed or by paying out a lump sum representative of one-half of the equity of the residence; or
  • The marital home is sold and the spouses split the equity (after taxes and fees are paid).

If a spouse buys out the other spouse, the spouse who is keeping the home should remember to go to the bank and refinance the home to take the other spouse off the mortgage. This is not automatically done when the divorce is finalized.

Dividing Property in a Divorce

Arizona is one of a handful of states that follows the rule of community property in a divorce. All community property is split equitably, which generally means equally, between the two spouses. The couple can perform the split themselves by assigning a value to each of their items and dividing it accordingly. But couples who find that they cannot agree on how to do this eventually will have the Court enter the order.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you have questions about property division, or you have some property that you’d like to keep after your divorce, you might want to talk to a divorce attorney. The attorneys at Udall Shumway, PLC have considerable experience with divorce and the state’s community property statutes. Let us help you figure out a way to keep your house after your divorce.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding The House in a Divorce, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Steven H. Everts at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.