Q: Can my spouse remove me from our home?
ANSWER:Unless you have physically, verbally, or severely emotionally abused your spouse or have already established alternative housing, your spouse may have great difficulty removing you from your home. Unless you consent to the removal, your spouse must make a Court application to have you removed and the Court will allow you the opportunity to be heard on that issue.
Q: May the children and I continue to live in our home after the separation and divorce?
ANSWER:Assuming you are or anticipate being the custodial parent and if you have a child under the age of 18, the Court will usually strive to keep the child in the home, neighborhood, and/or school district in which they are familiar, assuming the child is thriving in the current environment and further assuming that financial circumstances do not dictate otherwise.
Q: Am I entitled to share in the value of the home even though title is not in my name?
ANSWER:If the house was purchased during the marriage with funds earned during the marriage (regardless of which spouse earned the money), then it is likely that you will have an equitable interest in the value of the home even though your name does not appear in the title. There are many factors considered in calculating the amount, value and percentage of that equitable interest.
Q: I purchased our home prior to our marriage with funds earned or received by me prior to our marriage. Will I have to share the value of the home with my spouse?
ANSWER:Usually not. However, if the house has appreciated in value during the marriage as the result of efforts of your spouse or marital monies invested in the property, then your spouse may have an interest in the amount of appreciated value that has accumulated since the date of the marriage. Take notice that if you place your spouse’s name on the deed title during the marriage, this may give rise to a legal and equitable interest in the full value of the property on the part of your spouse.
Q: Will the Court force me to sell the home?
ANSWER:If there are no children and assuming the home is marital property, the Court will afford each spouse the opportunity to buy out the other. If neither spouse has the means or interest in buying out the other, then the Court could order it to be sold and the proceeds shared in some equitable fashion.