Exclusive use and Occupancy of the Family Home

Jul 18, 2023 by Britton Evers

Since most divorces in Louisiana require my spouse and I to live separately, How do we decide who should stay in our house?

  • When the marital home is owned jointly by both spouses, the question arises of who gets to keep the home, or whether it should be sold and the proceeds divided between the spouses. For many couples, the idea of selling the family home can be a particularly painful one, especially if children are involved. 
  • One immediate option for addressing the issue of the family home is for one spouse to be granted exclusive use and occupancy of the home. This can be an appealing option for many couples as it allows for the maintaining of a stable home environment for children and reduces the upheaval associated with moving. 
  • In Louisiana, exclusive use and occupancy of the family home refers to one spouse's right to remain in the family home during divorce proceedings. Typically, this right is granted by the court and extends until the divorce is final, until community property is settled, or unitl a court order terminates the right of the occupying spouse to remain in the home.
  • The right to exclusive use and occupancy of the family home may be granted to one spouse based on a variety of factors such as financial need, the presence of children in the home, and the ability to buy out the other spouse's share. 
  • It is important to note that the grant of exclusive use and occupancy of the family home is not automatic and is subject to the discretion of the court. Additionally, the court may impose certain conditions on the occupying spouse such as responsibility for mortgage payments, taxed, and insurance, as well as requirments for maintaining the property. There are also other rights and obligations that are impacted by the award of usage, such as spousal support and child custody, so an attorney should be consulted to understand the implications involved. 

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