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Colorado Family Law: The Marital Residence - Who stays and who goes?

Usually, the primary asset any married couple will own together is the marital residence. When a marriage hits the rocks, the marital residence can become ground zero for the showdowns that typically precede the filing of a divorce. After all, it is where the love of a marriage blossomed and also deteriorated. Inevitability, co-habitation may not be a healthy option for either the wife or the husband. Usually, someone has to leave. But what happens if both parties wish to stay in the marital residence? As a practical matter, somebody has to leave, right?

In an ideal world, the parties are able to compromise and one party will move out of the marital residence prior to a divorce filing or has plans to move out during the course of the proceedings. With effective representation, parties can decide this early on in a mediation which may help to curtail some of the nastiness that can come with constantly seeing each other on a daily basis. However, if neither party is willing to leave, (and absent any indications of harm being inflicted by either party ) the parties will have to endure each other’s company until the matter is able to get in front of a Judge, which may be months down the road.

This matter can come before a Judge both on a temporary basis (who gets to live in the residence during the course of the proceedings) or at the disposition of the divorce (who ultimately gets to live in the residence after the divorce is final). In both cases, the Judge will weigh a variety of factors including but not limited to: financial means of the parties, family housing options each has available, who has custody of the children, and who is creating the hostility in the home. Usually, the Judge will award one party either temporary or permanent possession of the marital residence. However, in some temporary cases, if the judge does not feel that the parties can financially support two residences and the relationship isn’t too toxic, the Judge may order neither party to leave the home. In a final disposition case with the same facts, the Judge may order the house to be sold and the proceeds to be split amongst the parties.

Purchasing a house together, for some, is thought to be the cornerstone of building a family together by turning a house into a home. When the marriage falls apart and this foundation is rocked, it is important to get the right legal advice to help you pick up the pieces that matter.

Please contact the Domestic Team at Feldmann Nagel, LLC for all of your Family Law needs.
Categories: Divorce, Property Division