Can I stay in the house with my minor children until they reach 18 years old without having to sell home or buy out my ex?

Asked on December 8, 2015 under Family Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can do this only if the divorce agreement or decree said you could. Otherwise, the house was a marital asset (and is presumably in your ex-husband's name as well): you have no more right to use the home or to determine what to do with it than you ex-husband, as a co- or joint owner, has. You and he can come to an agreement as to what to do--e.g. that you will pay the mortgage and other expenses while living there, then when the last of your children is 18, the home will sold and proceeds distributed--but if the two of you can't agree, he could bring a legal action asking a court to order the home sold (becasue the owners can't agree) now and the proceecs split.

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