Owning your home before your marriage does not guarantee that you’ll keep it during your divorce. However, it could help you keep it if the facts of your circumstances support such a result under Tennessee law. Let’s take a closer look at homeownership and how a pre-marriage home could stay in the hands of the spouse who previously owned it.
Regardless of who owned the home before marriage, if you and your spouse share children, then the spouse who wins full physical custody will maintain the upper hand when it comes to homeownership. This is because family law courts will try to preserve the stability of the home environment of the children, and will prefer that the children stay with their home.
If you owned your home outright, you don’t have children with your spouse and you never put your spouse’s name as co-owner on the deed, you have a better chance of keeping your home. However, if the house increased in value, you’ll likely have to share some of this value increase with your ex-spouse. Also, if your house wasn’t fully paid off, and you continued paying the home off during marriage, you may need to share with your spouse the percentage of the value that you paid off after marriage.
Dividing a home can be a complicated process during your divorce. As such, you should evaluate your property rights carefully. You may be able to avoid a great deal of disagreement and tension by reaching an out-of-court settlement, and knowing where you stand legally can assist you in reaching a fair and equitable agreement in this regard.