A divorce is a time of significant change in your life. In addition to ending a defining relationship in your life, you will also likely have to experience changes in your housing situation and your relationship with your children.
It is perfectly normal and natural to seek sources of comfort and stability during this uncertain time. For many people, the ability to stay in their family home is the simplest and most satisfying form of stability during a divorce. However, especially if you and your spouse both want to maintain the family home, the courts may have to decide what to do on your behalf.
There is no specific rule or formula for handling the house in a divorce, making the outcome of each case unique. The better you understand Minnesota family law, the more reasonable your expectations will be regarding your family home.
Both spouses usually have some degree of claim to the marital home
Unless you have an iron-clad prenuptial agreement dealing with the home, there is a good chance that the courts will treat your house as marital property. Even in situations where one spouse owned the house prior to marriage, both spouses have likely invested time, effort and money in the maintenance and upkeep of the home during the marriage.
Barring extreme and highly unusual circumstances, spouses likely have at least some ownership interest in the marital house. The Minnesota courts will customize their approach to dividing the house based on the circumstances of your marriage and divorce.
There are many different ways to handle the marital home in divorce
In some scenarios, the courts may approve a parenting plan that involves nesting, where both parents maintain individual apartments and stay in the marital home during their custody time with the children.
Other times, especially with minor children, one spouse may receive possession of the home. The other spouse will likely receive a portion of the equity during refinancing or through other valuable assets. It is also possible for the courts to order the sale of your marital home and any other shared real estate holdings, with the intention of splitting the sale proceeds between spouses.
Pushing for the outcome you want in a Minnesota divorce
If you feel strongly about how the courts handle your home in a divorce, you should make that asset the cornerstone of your legal strategy. There are many different approaches that you can take, depending on the circumstances of your marriage.
Discussing your situation with a Minnesota lawyer who is familiar with complex divorce cases involving real estate issues is a good first step toward developing a working divorce strategy.