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Can a custodial parent live in and defer sale of a marital home?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Divorce, Property Division |

Property division in a California divorce is often viewed from the perspective of which person gets to retain what. That could include bank accounts, investments, real estate, automobiles and items of sentimental value among many other things. However, other considerations could come into play.

Child custody and property division can become intertwined when there is a marital home that would otherwise be sold. With a younger child, it is frequently preferable to limit the upheaval they experience from the marital breakdown.

To help with that, the custodial parent may want to stay in the home. Since real estate can have immense value, this can be a source of dispute. There are ways to address this under state law that both parties need to be aware of.

A deferred sale of home order is an option

A custodial parent might want to remain in the marital home until a certain time. Then, they can sell it when the child reaches majority or another time they have agreed to or the court mandates. There are factors the court will consider before approving or denying the request.

Economic feasibility is imperative. There might be a mortgage that needs to be paid. Property taxes, maintenance and repairs could be problematic. The court will assess the income and assets of the parent who plans to stay in the home when it makes its determination. It will look at the support provided the noncustodial parent can and will provide for the other parent and child. Separate sources of funds will be considered.

The child’s well-being is a fundamental factor in any family law case. The court needs to know how long the child has lived in the home; their schooling situation; the location of the home in relation to the child’s school, child care, medical care, extracurricular activities and more; if there is an emotional connection between the child and the home; if there are other issues like disability and the home having been modified; and finances.

Know about deferred property sales as part of a family law case

Parents want the best for their children while seeking a fair outcome in the divorce case. That can lead to disagreement as to how the handle sensitive and financially worrisome topics. When there is a marital home at stake and the custodial parent wants to keep it for the time-being and the other parent either objects or wants a resolution they deem fair, it is wise to understand the law and know how to craft solutions for these complex aspects of family law.


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