The housing prices in California are some of the highest in the United States, and many married couples work hard to purchase their own house. Houses are not only some of the most valuable assets couples have, but they can also become a treasured family home. If a married couple decides to get a divorce, what happens to the house? The answer depends on the specific circumstances involved in each case.
Homes as Community Property
California is a community property state, which means that all community property (property owned by both spouses) should be divided equally in a divorce. A house will be considered community property in several situations:
- Two spouses purchase a home together while they are married and both names are on the title
- Two spouses purchase a home together while they are married and have an understanding that they both own the house even though only one name is on the title
- One spouse purchased the home before the marriage, but the other spouse actively contributed to mortgage payments or the costs of improvements, giving them a substantial interest in the home (their post-marriage interest would then be considered community property)
It is impossible to cut a house in half to divide the property, so couples have different options. They can sell the house and divide the proceeds. They can decide that one spouse will keep the home and “buy out” the other’s half. They can also decide that one spouse will keep the home and the other will receive a greater portion of the rest of their assets and property.
Contact a Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer for More Information Today
At the McKinnon Law Firm, we work to find the most beneficial solutions for property division and other matters at issue in California divorce cases. Call 760.707.3373 or contact us online to discuss your situation.