California is a community property state, which means that joint assets are divided equally in a divorce settlement. Therefore, you may have the right to either an ownership stake in a marital home or a portion of any profits from the sale of the property.

Strategies that can be used to keep a marital home

If you want to stay in your current home, it may be possible to buyout your spouse’s ownership stake in the property. You may also be able to take possession of the home in exchange for other assets that your spouse might have more interest in. A judge may allow you to live in the home for a certain period of time before it is sold. For instance, you may be able to stay in the house until your son or daughter reaches the age of majority.

A real estate agent may be assigned to oversee a sale

The judge in your case may appoint a real estate agent to handle the sale of your home. However, it may also be possible for you and your spouse to hire an agent without court approval who may be able to help sell the house at the top of its market range.

When is a home considered separate property?

Any property that was acquired before the marriage began would likely be considered separate property. The same may be true if an asset is gifted or inherited during the marriage. However, if joint funds were used to make mortgage payments or to maintain a house, it would likely be seen as marital property. A home may be considered joint property even if your name is not on the title.

If you have any questions about how property is allocated in a divorce, feel free to contact a family law professional. An attorney may be able to explain the concept of joint property and help you obtain a fair share of marital assets in a final divorce settlement.