Legally Separated: Who Lives in the House?

Oct 20, 2023

The decision to legally separate marks a significant juncture in a married couple’s lives. While this path may offer a temporary respite from the strains of marital conflict, it also ushers in a period of uncertainty and complex decision-making. Among the many issues that arise during separation, determining who lives in the house stands as a particularly contentious one.

NY Property Division: Marital and Separate Property

In New York, the laws governing occupancy rights in the context of legal separation are nuanced and often subject to interpretation. Unlike divorce, which legally terminates a marriage, separation merely establishes a state of living apart while maintaining the legal bonds of matrimony.

First, it is crucial to understand the difference between marital and separate property. Marital property includes assets and debts acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. This can encompass the family home, vehicles, and even investments. Conversely, separate property refers to assets owned by either spouse before the marriage or acquired individually through inheritance or gifts during the marriage.

In cases of legal separation in NY, the ideal scenario involves spouses reaching an amicable agreement on dividing their property. This agreement can significantly streamline the process, allowing both parties to have a say in the outcome, especially concerning who will reside in the family home.

However, not all separations proceed smoothly. When spouses cannot agree, the matter is escalated to the court. Here, after a detailed trial, the court decides which property is deemed separate and which is marital. This decision is based on a host of factors, including the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s financial contribution, and future financial circumstances.

Know Your Rights, Talk to Our Divorce Lawyer Today

Determining who lives in the house during a legal separation or divorce is a multifaceted issue that requires careful consideration and legal understanding. With Levitsky Law Firm, you have Brooklyn divorce lawyers who understand the nuances of legal separation in New York; ensuring that your rights are protected. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.