Contributed by Ashley Waye / Founding Lawyer. When separating or divorcing, many married couples wonder and worry about what will ultimately happen with the home in which they live. Assuming at least one of the individuals has an ownership interest in the home when they separate, then the home is referred to, in legal terms, as a “matrimonial home.”
If a couple chooses to resolve the matrimonial home issue outside of court, they have many options: 1) list the home for sale and divide the proceeds; 2) one person remains in the home for an agreed upon extended period of time, with a clear allocation of the home’s carrying costs and an outline of how proceeds will be divided once ultimately sold; and 3) one person buys the other’s interest in the home.
If a couple cannot agree on a solution, the issue goes to court, and no-one gets the home! Courts do not take into consideration one person’s wish to keep the home and, of course, they cannot order that a home be physically divided in two! The court will simply order that it be sold and the proceeds divided taking into account the division of all matrimonial assets.
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