Property Disputes During Divorce | Family Law Paducah, Kentucky

Life After Divorce: Who Gets to Own the House & Property?

Being married often means sharing what a couple owns with one another. It has become an apparent trend during the modern period when almost everything can be co-owned or have the option for joint ownership which appeals greatly to engaged people and newlyweds. Such arrangements do have their own benefits, but they can also become a bane if a marriage disagreement happens.

Divorce can be simplified as a formal and certified separation of one person and another as recognized by the state. However, what many seem to forget and only realize a bit later is that the entire ordeal is not solely about going in separate ways, but also includes disputes in assets and properties, particularly the marital home.

In some cases, the family house becomes the most valuable asset during the annulment. It could be sought after because of various reasons, including the financial aspect of the real estate and the emotional attachment to the place especially if there are children involved. But before deciding to fight for property ownership, make sure to be aware of the following topics first.

Should I keep the house after divorce? 

Reasons to Keep the House

There is a good chance that monetary contributions to the upkeep and maintenance of a home will not be considered a valid enough reason to immediately win and get it. Although it is logical and makes sense to keep something a person has invested in, it does not stand against more impactful reasons such as what are listed below:

Reason 1: For the Children

A split-up between parents can be very traumatizing to kids, more so the younger ones. Routine is common for children and losing one parent disrupts that. They will be wondering what happened to the other adult who takes care of them, joins them during meals, plays with them, and who they generally see around the house.

And if the other parent who stayed gets affected by the divorce negatively (e.g. depressed, irritable, etc.), or if the child gets moved to another living space, it causes more psychological imbalance that results in unwanted behaviors in the little ones (e.g. frequent tantrums, acting out, being more withdrawn, etc.). Hence, keeping the house is vital to give the children a sense of familiarity as well as to address the urgent need for shelter and safety.

Reason 2: Emotional Attachment

The court does not only consider the physical needs of the people involved, but also the intangible aspects that can affect their everyday lives. This includes the feelings of an individual and their emotional attachments to things. It may not sound as appropriate or practical, but it is considered an understandable reason. 

A good number of spouses get attached to their homes mostly either due to the memories made while living there or because the house has stayed in the spouse’s family for many generations. It is part of human nature to feel hesitant to give up something that has been in possession for a long period of time.

Reason 3: Financial Stability

The budgetary situation of a family differs prior to and post-divorce. If the marital home being fought after is an estate that requires a good sum of money to keep running and be maintained, then it is a factor the court will surely consider during deliberation. it is also a facet that must be thought of by the parties involved. 

It may be relieving not to go through the hassle of moving, but that in turn brings the burden of having to take care of property taxes, maintenance fees, and mortgage among other things. If a spouse is more financially capable than his/her partner, there is a high probability of him/her acquiring the house if no other extensive reason is provided.

Alternative Options for Property Disputes

Divorce can be messy and there is no single outcome with every case being different. Sometimes, the partners end up not wanting to do anything with the marital home and prefer to have it settled in a different manner. Here we have listed the most common alternative agreements:

Method 1: Buyout

A house buyout involves a lot of meticulous negotiations between the divorcees. It occurs when one party intentionally gives up their interest in the property in exchange for money or at the very least, a written and verified promise of money in the future. This sort of settlement is inclined to happen to the parent who does not want to be involved in child-rearing, thus, leaving the house to the other spouse with the kids.

Method 2: Co-Ownership

If both divorcees are adamant to keep the house and a stalemate is reached, the best solution may be to divide the property. This could be done literally or metaphorically through co-ownership contracts. It is a compromise that allows each person to get a semblance of control over the home, while also sharing the costs included in the entire process. This gives the spouses the chance to redefine their relationship from former couple to business partners, more so if they decide to rent or lease out the property.

Method 3: Sell the House

The most realistic option is if neither of the spouses wants the home or if neither could afford to stay in it on their own. It is the most straightforward agreement but also the most difficult to do since both parties will completely cut ties with the place they likely have deep attachments to.

Settling the Dispute at Court

If all else fails and an agreement is still not decided, then a judge may end up deciding for the pair. The outcome depends heavily on the laws and regulations of the state or area where the court session and deliberation happens. In this case, it will be best to obtain the help and assistance of a lawyer specializing in family law and divorce. These professionals are knowledgeable in such fields and can almost guarantee to give the desired outcome.

For those looking for a trustworthy and knowledgeable lawyer in Paducah, Kentucky, or surrounding areas, your search is over! Attorney Jennifer Mills Peek has over 20 years of experience in family law. She knows the delicate nature of this type of litigation and is able to navigate her client’s cases with sensitivity, and discretion and yet still represent her clients in a very fair way. Talk to her today by calling (270) 558-4790 or by visiting her website at to send a free quote.