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Who will get the house in my Pennsylvania divorce?

Property division involves a lot of different variables and no two divorces are the same in this regard. One of the most pressing questions on the minds of people going through a divorce relates to which spouse will get to keep the house. This often depends on how the home was purchased and whether there the divorcing couple has children or not.

Generally, if children are involved, the spouse who completes most of the child-raising will usually be the one to keep the family home. However, if no children are involved and one of the spouses purchased the home with his or her separate assets, then the home will be considered as individual property and the other spouse can be required to vacate the residence.

If the home is considered marital property, and the couple does not have children, then courts will not usually require one or the other spouse to vacate. As such, it would be illegal for one spouse to lock the other one out of the house, and spouses who are locked out of their residences could contact the police. If domestic violence happens, though, the victimized spouse will be able to secure a restraining order against the other souse.

That said, it is typical for one or the other individual to vacate the premises, as it is not very often that spouses continue to reside in the same place during their divorce proceedings. Furthermore, Pennsylvania spouses may be able to reach an out-of-court settlement regarding the division of a family residence. This could involve liquidating the family property and splitting the proceeds from the sale.

Source: Findlaw, "Divorce property division FAQ," accessed July 13, 2015

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