Who Keeps the House in a Divorce?

gold border around a white square with black lettering that states "who keeps the house in a divorce?"For many people, what will happen to the family house during a divorce is a major concern.  It only makes sense — the house is emotionally complex for you, your spouse, and your children.  Plus, it’s where you live, so in addition to the emotions, there are a lot of logistics involved.  Finally, it is also a large asset — sometimes one of the largest assets in the marriage.

Read on to learn more.

Two Main Questions About the Family House & Divorce

Let’s take some time to separate out the two main questions involving the family home:

  1. Who will live where during the divorce?
  2. Who will get the house post-divorce?

These are two separate issues in a divorce.  The person who lives in the family home during the divorce isn’t necessarily the person who will keep the house following the divorce.  In other words, just because one spouse lived in the house during the divorce, that doesn’t mean the same spouse is going to get the home after the divorce.

Who is Going to Live in the House During the Divorce?

Who will live in the family home — referred to as the “marital residence” in divorce law — is addressed by the “automatic orders.”  The automatic orders are orders that automatically go into effect at the beginning of a divorce, legal separation, or custody action.

The automatic orders, which are explained in Connecticut Practice Book §25-5, provide that neither party may deny use of the family home to the other person without a court order if the spouses are living together on the date the court papers are delivered.

However, this default rule can be changed if the parties agree or the court orders a change.

Read: What are the “Automatic Orders” in a Connecticut Divorce?

Who Will Get the Marital Residence Post-Divorce?

The house is one of many items property that will be allocated between the spouses during “property division.”

Connecticut is an all property, equitable distribution state.  What that means is that in a Connecticut divorce, family law courts have broad authority to award marital property like the house to either spouse, regardless of:

  • how it is titled
  • when it was acquired
  • or whether it was received as a gift or inheritance.

In other words, which means that everything that either spouse owns is fair game when it comes to dividing things up in divorce.

Next Steps

Our first step, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals for your life. Once we discover your goals for your life at the Goals and Planning Conference, we are able to take our all of our collective experience with divorce, law, the available ways to divorce, strategy, courts, judges, and other lawyers, and build a divorce, separation, or annulment customized for you.

Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us either here or by phone at 860-530-4292.

Written by Meghan Freed