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Who Keeps the House in a Divorce?

One of the most significant and contentious issues that often arises in a divorce action is the question of who gets to keep the house. The family home (often referred to as the martial residence) is not just a major asset but also a place filled with memories and emotional value.  New York is an equitable distribution state in which the division of marital property is based on what is considered fair or equitable.  That does not necessarily mean equal. The court considers various factors such as the length of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse, and contributions to the marital estate.

Keeping the house post-divorce is not just about who wants it more; it’s also about who can afford it.  Beyond the financial aspect, emotional and practical factors play a significant role especially when children are involved.  If children are involved, maintaining stability by keeping them in the same home and school district can be a priority. If one spouse is granted residential custody, they may be more likely to keep the house to provide stability for the children.

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