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1. I'm getting a divorce. Which one of us gets to keep the house?
Likely neither of you. The family home, even when it has an incomplete mortgage on it, is usually the most valuable asset owned by either spouse.
When the court decides to split the property, it has to include the value of the house. Unless one of you has enough cash to pay for half the house,
the court will have to order the sale of your house in order to divide its value in two. The sad truth is, because most people don't have two to three
thousand dollars to pay a lawyer's retainer fee, they tend to pay their lawyers out of the sales proceeds from the house.
2. I suspect my spouse has been doing some terrible things, and we're divorcing. Should I raise these accusations in court?
Not if you can avoid it. There are two reasons:
a) It's easier, quicker, and less expensive to get a no-fault divorce
b) If you make an accusation in court that you can't prove, especially a serious allegation(adultery, child abuse, alcoholism, etc.)
the judge may consider you reckless. This may affect her opinion of whether you would be the better parent to have custody of the children.
3. Are there exceptions to the 50/50 division-of-family-assets rule?
Yes. The court will look at a number of factors in determining whether the 50/50 division of assets is just in the circumstances. For example,
if you owned the house prior to your marriage, and the marriage only lasted six months, the court would likely apportion the bulk of the home to you.
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This page last updated: September 24, 1999
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