There are many ways for the courts to handle your home in a New Hampshire divorce. Quite a few people seem to mistakenly believe that when you divorce, one spouse or the other keeps the home. Some people also think that the person who gets the home will get the full equity in the home, which is actually not a common outcome, as divorce is not a winner-take-all arrangement.
While it is certainly possible for one spouse to assume possession and ownership of the marital home, that is not always the best solution. There are a number of different ways for the New Hampshire family courts to handle the home you shared when you get divorced. Understanding the various ways for the courts to dispose of your real estate can help you make better decisions about your preferred outcome in a New Hampshire divorce.
Sometimes, one spouse maintains possession of the property
Possession and ownership are different things in real estate. Possession refers to the individual inhabiting the property. However, someone else can have an ownership interest in a property despite not living there. If you move out early in the divorce, your spouse then has possession of the home, but that does not mean they have the sole right to ownership of the home.
New Hampshire’s equitable distribution laws about marital assets make it clear that spouses each have a share in marital property, including the house. While one of you may stay in the home, you both have an ownership interest in the equity built up in the property.
When one person stays in the house and retains it after divorce, the courts will typically order that person to refinance. Doing so can allow them to remove their spouse from the title and the mortgage while also taking some equity out of the property to compensate their ex for their share of the home equity.
For some couples, the children stay in the family home
Birdnesting is an unusual solution to the stresses of shared custody. Those who live in very competitive neighborhoods who want their children to remain in the same school district may not have the option of renting or purchasing quickly in the same area.
To provide the most consistency possible for the children, the parents may agree to retain the family home while each secures an outside space to live. Instead of the children going back and forth between houses, the parents rotate in and out of the marital home based on their custody arrangements.
Sometimes, selling the house is the best option
The courts can instruct a couple to sell their marital home in certain cases. Dividing the equity you have in a home may be an easier option than fighting over who gets to keep the house. It can be hard to let go of your home in a divorce, but that can sometimes offer you the best opportunity for a fresh start.