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Who Pays for the House in an Irvine Divorce?

Under California’s community property rules, a family home purchased during the course of a marriage belongs to both spouses. This is true regardless of whether only one spouse worked and provided the money for the home or whether both spouses worked and paid for the house together. Unless the home was owned separately prior to marriage and was kept as separate property during the marriage, each spouse has a claim to the house.

Who Pays for the House in an Irvine Divorce?

Because each spouse has an ownership interest in the home, this can raise complicated questions regarding who pays for the house in an Irvine divorce. A family law attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help you to understand how the divorce laws will apply to assist you in determining who should pay house bills. Your attorney can also help you to address issues of property division in your divorce so you can try to get a fair settlement that protects your financial future.

Who Pays for the House in an Irvine Divorce?

A couple who is divorcing should ideally try to decide together who pays for the house in an Irvine divorce. You will need to address the issue of what is going to happen to the home during the divorce process, as well as what happens to the house after the marriage ends.

You can’t force your spouse to leave the house during divorce, so you may both continue to live there until the marriage has been dissolved and property divided. If this is the case, you can simply keep paying the house bills as you were doing before the marriage ends.

If only one spouse stays in the house during divorce, it usually makes sense for that spouse to pay for the costs of the home. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes a stay-at-home spouse remains in a family home with the children and the other spouse continues to pay the bills.  A couple can agree to this arrangement, or to another plan, on their own or can go to court and get a legal separation agreement that addresses who should pay for the house.

If one spouse stays in the house and gets the benefit of remaining in the home during divorce, this can be factored in when property is divided up. Each spouse should get a 50-50 share of marital assets during the divorce, so if one spouse gets some financial benefit from remaining in the home, his portion of other marital assets can be reduced.

A decision must also be made on what happens to the house after the divorce is final. In some cases, the home is sold and the parties split the proceeds. If one of the spouses stays in the house, usually that spouse will begin to pay for it although another arrangement can be reached if the couple desires. The spouse who stays in the home should ideally refinance the mortgage solely into his or her own name, otherwise the mortgage lender will continue to hold both spouses accountable for the debt.

To learn more and to get help determining who should pay for your house in an Irvine divorce, call Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today.