Property division after divorce is equitable — not necessarily equal. You cannot equally divide a home.
Parties are often able to settle property issues between themselves, outside of the court. In many cases, there is little equity in the home, or only one of the parties has the ability to make the monthly mortgage payments.
If you are unable to decide who should keep the house, a judge will attempt to devise an equitable solution, taking into account all relevant circumstances. The court will consider the relative economic position of each party, each party’s ability to maintain the home, each party’s ability to obtain an alternative residence, and the parties’ living arrangements at the time of trial. If one party has voluntarily moved out of the home and is residing elsewhere, the easiest solution is to maintain the status quo. Also, as a practical matter, the spouse with primary custody of the children is more likely to receive the marital residence, assuming the children have continued to reside at the home. If neither party can refinance the home or make the monthly payments, the court may order the parties to sell the home and equally divide any profit or deficiency.