Should I Keep the House in a Divorce in Arizona
People facing a divorce or legal separation often ask the question: “Should I keep the house in a divorce in Arizona?” The answer to that question depends upon a lot of different factors. The decision you make regarding staying in the home or moving from your home during a divorce may have a big impact on your case and how issues in your case are decided by a judge.
Things to Consider About the House
The first thing to consider is whether you have children. If you have children, those children are already settled into their home, their friends, their neighborhood, and their school. Judges understand divorce can have a negative impact on the children.
Most judges do not want to create more change in the children’s lives by having them move from their current home to a new home. So, moving from your home during a divorce in Arizona could negatively affect the amount of time you spend with your children. However, parents who share equal parenting time with their children will not be impacted by this decision.
Cost of Living in the Home
The next thing to consider is the costs of living in the home. Specifically, can you afford to continue living in the home? Regardless of your finances, you can ask the court to issue a Temporary Order requiring your spouse to contribute to the monthly expenses associated with the home until such time your case ends in a divorce or legal separation.
Your other option is to seek reimbursement for the expenses you paid for the house at your final divorce trial. The court has the authority to order your spouse to reimburse you for payments you make on a community property debt, such as a mortgage.
Other Considerations About Living in the Home
Your safety is another concern to consider. People who have been victims of domestic violence may be better served by securing a new residence and keeping their address information confidential. The court has the authority to order your contact information, including your new home, be confidential to protect you from an abusive spouse.
Another important consideration is whether you want to be awarded the home in your divorce. If you do, it doesn’t make sense to move out of the home only to try to move back into the home when your divorce is final. In fact, it is very unlikely the court will award you the home if you moved out of the house during your divorce if the other spouse claims he or she wants to be awarded the home and he or she still lives in that home.
We often encourage our clients to reach an agreement to sell the home in a divorce or legal separation case. The reasons for selling a home in a divorce are less legal and more emotional. We have found that our clients’ who sell their homes are much more comfortable not having the constant reminders of the memories they have and are reminded about when they keep the home.
If you decide to move from your home during a divorce, you should take personal property that is particularly valuable or sentimental with you when you move. It may be difficult to get those items back after a divorce is filed. Most judges are not happy if you try to litigate the division of personal property at a divorce trial. Some judges will actually order the sale of all of your personal property if you and your spouse cannot resolve the issue of the division of your property before trial.
Call the experienced Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona divorce attorneys at (480)305-8300 at Hildebrand Law, PC to learn more about keeping the house during a divorce in Arizona.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about keeping the house during a divorce in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about divorce laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a child custody case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.