For most married couples, their largest asset is the family home. As a result, when many couples divorce, the asset that is fought over the most is likely the family home as well. This means that for couples, a common question is, “Who gets the house in our divorce?”
Indiana is an equitable distribution state. This means that our state assumes that all of the property owned by the parties in a marriage are marital property and should be split equitably as a result. And, while this does not mean a perfect 50-50 split, it does mean a fair split. The exemption is property that is singularly inherited during the marriage and property brought into the Evansville, Indiana, marriage.
And, keep in mind that equitably does not necessarily mean equally. Your Indiana family law judge will consider both spouse’s earning power, each partner’s role in the marriage and factors they deem relevant to deciding on a fair distribution of assets.
Exemptions may not apply, even when they apply
Even if some property had an exemption, an exemption could be eliminated if the asset is intermingled with marital assets. A common example is inherited money that is deposited into a joint bank account, or a property owned prior to a marriage that a spouse is subsequently added to a deed.
Who gets the house in our divorce?
Ultimately, the Indiana family court judge decides who will keep the family home during the property division process, unless the spouses can make this decision prior to going to court and the judge agrees. When making the housing decision, the judge looks to several factors.
These include which spouse has primary custody of the children, the needs of the children and whether the kids would be best served in the home. The judge will look at each spouse’s emotional connection to the home, like if the home is one spouse’s ancestral home, and whether this would classify it as separate property. Remember, the family home is just one part of the property division process that must be done equitably.
Work with your Evansville, Indiana, attorney, and your other spouse’s attorney to figure out equitable solutions before you get to court. Often, you can get better results.