how-do-iDeciding who gets to keep the family home in a divorce can be the single biggest and most difficult issue you face during a divorce proceeding, but there are some things you can do to help maximize your chances of keeping the home if you desire to do so.

First, don’t move. If one person moves, and the other is still living in the home, then the courts generally give preference to the person currently living in the home. If you want to keep it, you want to make sure that’s you. If you can’t get your spouse to move out, then no matter how difficult and trying the situation gets, you’ve got to grin and bear it as best you can.

Second, if there are children involved, fight for custody. Whomever gets custody of the children has a better chance of keeping the home, because few judges will be of a mind to displace young children if they don’t have to.
Third, keep records of everything, and keep the payments current. One of the surest ways to force the sale of your home is to get behind on the payments, so this step is crucial.

Of course, some states insist on the sale of the home as part of the division of marital assets, so if this is true in the state you call home, then be aware that no matter how badly you may want to remain, it just may not be possible to do so.

Divorce is never easy. If there’s disagreement about who gets to keep the house, things can be even messier and more difficult. The thing to remember, though, is that the process won’t last forever, and you will get through it. If you have any questions or concerns about a given course of action and how it might impact your desire to keep your home, be sure to discuss it with your attorney before you actually do anything. That could mean the difference between staying where you are and having to move once the divorce has been finalized.