Who Gets the Family House in an Arizona Divorce?

who gets the family house in an Arizona divorce

Factors that Determine Who Gets the Family House in an Arizona Divorce

The family home is probably one of the most prominent symbols of the lasting union between two people. This is why letting go of the house in divorce proceedings can be equally hard for both spouses. Who gets the family house in an Arizona divorce proceeding? How does an Arizona court make the final decision? Is it possible to reach a mutually-beneficial agreement during settlement proceedings? Keep on reading to find out.

Arizona Community and Separate Property Considerations

Arizona is a community property state. All of the assets and property acquired over the course of the marriage are joint. Property that one of the spouses acquired before getting married will be seen as separate. Thus, a house bought during the marriage will belong to both spouses.

Sometimes, it’s possible for a spouse that owns separate property to eventually turn it in community property. This is when things will get very complicated in divorce proceedings.

Whenever the house is community property, the division can occur in several ways. The first and most obvious possibility is having one of the spouses keeping the home while the other will get another family property that has a similar valuation. Alternatively, the family house can be sold. In this case, both spouses will get 50 percent of the sum.

A final scenario is possible whenever the family has minor children. The parent that gets custody rights will keep the family home for a period until the youngest of the children reaches college age.

Temporary and Permanent Property Possession

who gets the family house in an Arizona divorceIssues concerning the family home will arise as soon as one of the spouses files for divorce. Thus, chances are there will be conflict and disputes about who gets to live where before the divorce is finalized.

The spouse that files the divorce petition can also request temporary property possession from the court. This means that the respective individual will have exclusive access to the family residence until the divorce is finalized. Obviously, a reason for such a request will have to be provided for the Arizona court to honor the petition.

A person may request temporary possession because it will be to the benefit of the children during the divorce proceedings, because extended family members live nearby or because the partner filing the documents earns significantly less than the other spouse. In such instances, the Arizona court is likely to honor the request for property possession.

Upon the finalization of the divorce, the court will decide about the permanent property possession. The court will consider many factors, in case the partners cannot reach an agreement during an eventual divorce settlement. The best interest of children is one of the primary considerations. Custody, emotional attachment to the home and financial considerations will be examined.

Mortgage Considerations

The final important issue pertaining to the family home after the divorce is who gets to pay the mortgage.

As a general rule of thumb, the spouse that is granted permanent property possession is the one that will be responsible for all payments, including the mortgage and utilities.

Whenever the mortgage is signed by both spouses, the individual getting the right to live in the property should be the one to make the payments. If they fail, however, the bank could go after the other spouse. In such situations, it is advisable to get the loan refinanced in the name of the spouse that gets exclusive rights over the family home.

Divorced individuals that have co-signed mortgage papers can also experience difficulties when it comes to qualifying for a new mortgage. This is why getting the loan refinanced and the removal of such a financial obligation is going to be so important for moving forward. It is imperative to know who gets the family house in an Arizona divorce. 

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