Couples often struggle with the process of dividing their marital property. Each spouse may have their own opinion about what would be appropriate or fair, and they may have a hard time reaching a compromise that they both believe is reasonable.
Most resources that couples obtain during the marriage are potentially subject to partition (division) in a Louisiana divorce. Can one spouse get to keep the marital home for themselves?
Community property laws apply to all assets
Louisiana has a community property statute that guides the partition process when judges must make decisions in a contested divorce filing. Generally, one spouse will not be able to simply retain the full value of the home unless they give up something of equal value. Often, spouses share their home equity to achieve an equal split of the total marital estate.
The partition process begins with asset valuation. The court will have to consider the equity in the property and factor that value into property division choices. If one spouse does keep the home, they will usually need to refinance to offer the other a fair portion of its equity. Otherwise, the accrued equity in the home could influence the division of other assets, including vehicles or retirement savings.
Marital debts can also influence how people divide their interest in real property during a divorce. The courts can potentially award possession of the home to one spouse, but both spouses will ultimately receive an equal share of the equity at the end of the partition process. In some cases, the sale of the home may be the best way to achieve this goal.
Learning about the unique divorce laws in Louisiana will help people feel better prepared. With experienced legal guidance, you can work toward the best option for you.