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Family home can be source of conflict during divorce

The most efficient way in which to address the splitting of property during divorce is for you and your soon-to-be ex to decide on your own how to divide your property. However, this isn't always possible, in which case you will have to rely on a judge to split your property for you.

One area of property division that can especially spark conflict involves the family home. Unlike monetary assets, such as money in a savings account, you cannot physically split a house down the middle. Who ends up with the house is thus based on the particular circumstances surrounding your divorce.

What if we have children together?

If you and your spouse have children together, and if you do most of the child rearing, you will generally keep the family home. This leads to the least amount of disruption to the children's lives, as they can continue to go to the same school, for example.

The more stability they can have during the life-altering process of their parents' divorce, the more easily they can navigate the transition that comes with the dissolution of a marriage.

What if we do not have children together?

If your spouse bought the marital home with his or her own funds -- considered separate property -- and you do not have children together, then your spouse may keep the home and legally demand that you vacate it.

When no children are involved in a divorce proceeding, the family law courts vary regarding how to distribute the home. If you purchased the house together, neither you nor your spouse has the right to require the other party to leave the home. However, you may request it, and if you and your spouse do not agree in this area, the court will make the final determination as to who will keep the home.

How will the court arrive at a decision regarding the family home?

Because California is a community property state, this means all marital property divides in an even manner.

The court will typically add up your marital estate's total value and then grant both you and your soon-to-be ex a percentage of it, with the value of the family home being included in this property division calculation. It is within your rights to pursue a personally favorable outcome given the circumstances surrounding your divorce.

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