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The “marital home” is the house you share with your current spouse and family. Who gets the house depends on whether the house is joint property or community property. 

In California, there is a presumption that property acquired during the marriage is “community property,” which means the property is owned by both spouses equally (unless one spouse acquired it through an inheritance or gift). Since California is a community property state, the marital home is presumed to be community property, and both spouses share an equal interest in the home. Therefore, the parties’ can negotiate on how to divide the value of their marital home which may be divided in various ways: 

  • Requiring one spouse to pay for or “buy out” the other spouse’s share which may mean that the other party may refinance the house so that payments can be made by the spouse who is buying the other’s share,
  • Awarding one spouse exclusive possession of the home for a limited period of time, and requiring the couple to sell the house by a certain date after that,
  • Requiring the couple to sell the house immediately and divide the proceeds equally as directed by the court, or 
  • Offsetting the value of the home by awarding additional marital assets to the other spouse, etc. 

However, if there are disputes between the parties that arises out of the division of home, then the court will usually order the parties to sell the home and split the proceeds unless other exceptional arguments can be made, such as “sweat equity,” emotional attachment, or the sale of home shall be deferred to minimize the adverse impact of legal proceeding on the child, etc. 

We, at The Zhou Law Group, APC know that it is important to protect your assets and make sure that your assets will be divided properly.  If you have any questions regarding Family Law, please feel to arrange a free 1/2 hour initial consultation with our Attorneys by calling (408)289-9688, or contacting us online at

CategoryDivorce, English