The Divorce File:
Your Family Residence
Once upon a time, the custodial parent could live in the family residence until the children turned 18 at which time the house was sold. This divorce file shows that this is no longer the case.
Now, the family residence, along with all other community property, must be equally divided. Sometimes one party is able to buy the other one out. Other times the house must be sold.
If you bought your house at the height of the market and have seen it decline in value, you might be “upside down” meaning that you owe more than the house is currently worth. If you have not refinanced, you can simply walk away and be protected by the anti-deficiency statute.
However, if you have refinanced, you are stuck with the bill for the house and instead of being an asset, the family residence is now a liability. The debt of the house will have to be divided between you equally.
In my divorce files, there are many cases of parties being forced to take up new, more cramped quarters following a divorce. The family used to be able to have a bedroom for every child in their marital house, but the kids are forced to bunk together in each of the two new residences.
If you are able to come to an agreement with your ex, it is sometimes possible to save the family residence. This can financially benefit both parties and provide comfort for everyone involved. It is easier to work these things out when both parties are represented by an attorney.
Return to Property from Divorce File