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The big property division question: who gets the house?

When it comes to questions regarding property division, both partners are sure to have a lot on their mind. However, at some point, both will ask the following: Who gets the house?

There are times when both people want to keep the house, which leads to challenges. However, there are situations in which one partner wants to remain in the house and the other is more than happy to leave. This makes things much easier.

There is no easy answer to this question. Instead, who keeps the house is based on a variety of circumstances. For example, if children are involved, the parent with custody is likely to keep the marital home. This will ensure that the child or children have a solid living environment that they are already comfortable with.

If no children are involved and one spouse purchased the home before getting married, that person may be able to legally keep it, with the other partner asked to leave.

If both spouses own the home, there is no "set" approach to deciding who keeps the property. It is best for both parties to work things out on their own. If they don't, the court will be responsible for deciding which person gets the house.

The divorce process has a way of bringing out the worst in people. This often comes to light when both people begin to fight for the marital home. Going into divorce, it is a good idea to learn as much as possible about property division, including who is likely to be in position to remain in the home.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ," accessed Aug. 24, 2015

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