How do Courts divide marital homes in Alabama divorces? Divorces involve more than just the legal dissolvement of a marriage. During each divorce, it must be determined how the parties’ marital property will be divided between them. Marital property is any property or assets that the parties obtained during their marriage. This includes property such as houses, land, cars, businesses, debts, retirement accounts, cash, and more. It does not include property that the parties’ previously obtained before the marriage unless agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court. If the parties cannot reach an agreement on the division of their marital property by doing a cheap divorce in Birmingham, they will have to let the court decide for them.
The Circuit Court has full discretion to distribute marital property however it sees fit. Some states automatically divide the marital property equally between the parties. Alabama, however, does not guarantee that marital property will be divided equally, but instead, Alabama divides marital property based on equitable distribution, which means the court divides the property as fairly and equitably as it can. The judge may consider numerous aspects of the parties and their marital property like: the length of the marriage, the custody of the children, the parties’ contributions to the marriage and the property, the parties’ ability to earn, the financial state each party will be in after the divorce in Jefferson County, the age and health of the parties, or the parties’ work history.
In Alabama, the marital home can be divided in a few different ways. The court will first determine the equity of the home by taking the sale (or potential sale) amount of the house and subtracting the mortgage and any liens from that amount. This equals the equity of the home. Then, the court determines who gets what amount of the equity and how. The judge may award exclusive possession of the home for a period of time before requiring the home to be sold by a set date, or the judge could order the home to be sold with the proceeds split equitably in a contested divorce in Bessemer. The judge may also award the home to one party and award different property to the other party to offset their loss of the home. The judge could even award the home to one party until a specific event occurs like the children graduating, but this is not very common.
If the parties have children, the home is normally awarded to the party who has custody of the children to avoid further disrupting the children. If the parties do not have children, the judge will likely award each party a certain percentage of the home’s equity. Then, the judge may order one party to buy out the other party’s share. Typically, the party residing in the home will pay the mortgage, and all rights of the home are transferred to them. The party that transfers their rights will get the residing party’s share of the home’s equity. When this occurs, the party that transferred their rights is removed from the deed, and the residing party becomes the sole owner. There are many ways the marital home can be divided, but it is ultimately up to the judge unless the parties are able to reach an agreement.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!