Is your marital home your biggest concern about divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2022 | Family Law

Every month, you likely pay a significant amount of money to your mortgage company. You may also set aside additional funds to save for large home projects, like remodeling your kitchen or replacing the roof.

All told, you and your spouse likely spend a significant portion of your monthly income on the cost to own your home and to keep it in the best condition possible. You certainly don’t want to lose what you have invested in your home when you file for a divorce.

Is your ownership interest in the property at risk during a Minnesota divorce?

Is the house considered separate property?

There are typically two scenarios in which your ex could keep the home outright and deprive you of its value. The first is if you signed a marital agreement approving those specific terms. The second is when they have clear documentation that the house has always been their separate property.

Maybe they inherited it from family members or had already purchased and paid it off before you moved in with them. Even in the latter scenario, you may still have a partial claim to ownership rights because marital income will undoubtedly have gone toward the maintenance and upkeep of the property.

In all but the rarest of scenarios, you have the right to claim at least a partial ownership interest in the home where you lived during your marriage. The equitable distribution rules that apply in Minnesota divorces give you an interest in the equity.

Keeping the house may not be the best goal

Your right to an interest in the property is not dependent on maintaining ongoing possession. In other words, you don’t have to live there to receive a share of its value in the divorce. For some people, especially those who will have custody of the children and who worry about what schools they will attend, asking to keep the home may be the best solution.

For many others, the memories at the home combined with the demands of maintaining a property without support could make them realize that the better outcome in their case might involve asking for a share of the equity or selling the house instead of trying to continue living there.

You need to keep your focus on the big picture. People often become so emotional during divorce that they make irrational decisions that put them at a disadvantage in the long term. You need to think about your goals after the divorce and what you hope your life will look like in five years. That can then inform the strategy that you employ during negotiations with your ex or while presenting your case for property division litigation.

Creating a strategy to address your biggest assets will help you secure a fair outcome for your pending divorce.