December 20, 2021

The Family Home During the Divorce

The family home is a hot topic during a divorce. It is often the most expensive asset a couple owns, and one with a lot of emotional significance. This is why we have posted about what happens to the family home after a divorce. Though, the natural question that pops up after reading that article is, “what happens to the family home during the divorce?” Who gets to live there?

The first question, who is on the title?

The people named on the title of a home, own that home, equally. It does not matter when either spouse was put on the title, only that both spouses are on the title. When they decide to divorce, neither one can legally kick the other out.

What about domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is the exception to this rule, but it will require going before a judge. If a spouse is experiencing domestic violence, they can get a restraining order to keep he abusing spouse out of the family home and away from the victim spouse.

What if we bought the house together, but only one spouse is on the title?

Michigan is not a community property state. In community property states, anything acquired during the marriage is jointly owned. However, even as an equitable distribution state, the spouse who is not on title can still gain an interest in the property. This is done by paying the mortgage, paying for upgrades or by any marital funds being used on the property, mortgage or even, for the down payment. This means that the on-title spouse can likely not simply kick out the non-titled spouse because the other spouse is not on the title.

What if the property is completely separate?

If, somehow, the spouse on title has kept the family home completely separate, the non-title spouse will still likely have some tenancy rights. This is because, just by living in a property for a long time (usually, 30 days or more), residents gain tenancy rights that can, sometimes, mean they can only be kicked out through the eviction process.

The family home is just that, the family’s home

As our Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, readers have likely gathered from reading this, chances are, even during a divorce, both spouses can still live in the family home. That is because the family home is the family’s home, both legally and practically.