For many married couples, the marital home is by far the largest purchase they will make. It can also have different a level of importance to one spouse verses the other. During a divorce the role of the court is to equitably divide marital property between the spouses. This includes the marital residence. However, this does not mean that property is divided equally. Instead, the court will consider a variety of factors such as income, education and contributions to the marriage in order to determine the appropriate division.
One of the most difficult assets to equitably divide is the marital home. In divorce cases it is often the case that one spouse wants to divide the equity from the sale of the home while the other spouse wants to continue living in the home. There are a variety of factors that can affect the outcome in this type of dispute. For instance, it is less complicated when the spouse that wants to remain in the marital residence has the resources to pay the other spouse the financial equivalent of the equity they would receive in an outright sale, However, it is often the case that the parties are unable to resolve this conflict due to obstacles such as:
- Lack of resources to pay the other spouse their share of the equity
- The inability of the party desiring to remain in the residence to refinance in their name
- The inability of the parties to agree on a sale price for the home, or
- Both parties desiring to remain in the residence
Georgia courts have a great deal of experience in resolving these conflicts in divorces. A common scenario is where a couple has children, and the primary custodial parent is remaining in the residence. In this instance it is not uncommon for the parties to delay the sale of the home and splitting of the proceeds to a future date such as a child’s graduation or said child reaching the age of 18. In the alternative, if the parties are unable to come to an agreement, the court will look at the complete financial picture of both parties and determine what is equitable or fair. If children are involved the main determination will be what is in the child’s best interest. Regardless, each determination is dependent on the facts of the case.
Divorce does not automatically mean that the marital home will have to be sold. As stated above, there are a number of alternatives the Georgia judicial system uses in order to resolve this particular conflict. Factors such as the presence of children and the financial status of the parties are the most critical factors in this determination. It is critical to obtain the advice of an experienced family law and divorce attorney to guide you through this process. The Faucette Law Firm, LLC represents clients in all divorce-related matters including, contested and uncontested divorce, child custody, child support, legitimation, alimony and modifications. We serve Atlanta, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Douglas, Paulding, Carroll, Henry, Gwinnett, Coweta and Fayette. Contact our office today for a consultation.