Who Will Get the House After the Divorce?


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The end of a marriage is the beginning of a long, emotional, and stressful journey. One of the biggest concerns is what will happen to the family home, an integral part of everyone’s life and, during a divorce, a source of tension.

Most people see their homes as their most valuable assets. Their homes hold more importance if they have children who live on their property. In this post, our BC family lawyer will talk about who gets the house after divorce in BC:

The House is Considered Family Property

Under the law, the family home is considered family property, regardless of the registered owner. This means that irrespective of whether a person’s name is on the title document, the law considers family homes as a family’s property.

This law prevents the property owner from pushing their spouse out of their home and taking the property just because they made the payments or put the property in their name. It also means that if a person who has put their name on the title document gets a divorce, that person cannot just kick their spouse out of the house.

Family Property Just Like Family Debt, Is Shared Equally

In British Columbia, family property is also shared equally between spouses when a couple gets a divorce. This means that if a couple has built a home of $1 million, then the property is worth $500,000 to each spouse.

However, the rule only applies if there is an equal amount of family property. It doesn’t matter if a spouse owns a $1 million property while the other owns a $500,000 property.

Certain Circumstances May Lead to Equal Division Exemption

In some cases, if a person can show that their family home will be affected or their spouse will be affected by a sale of the family home, they may be able to apply to the court to get an exemption from the equal shared family law. This is only a viable option if they cannot make a separation agreement.

The person applying can make a case if they can show that the equal division will lead to them suffering significant hardship. An example of this is if a spouse will not be able to provide support for themselves and the children, and the spouse who owns the property does not have any other home to live in.

If an exemption is granted, the court will order an unequal division of the family home that is more favourable to the person who is applying for exemption. As for the other spouse, they may make a counterclaim for this.

Who Gets to Live in the House After the Separation?

There are many ways a family home can be divided in a divorce. However, it all boils down to one thing – who will get to live in the property?

If the couple agrees on a solution, the court will accept and approve the solution. In most cases, the spouse who cannot make ends meet will get the property.

If the couple cannot come to an agreement and the court does not grant an exemption, then the court will make a decision based on the factors below:

The court will consider the following factors when making a decision:

  • The income and earning capacity of both spouses
  • The needs of each spouse, including any child support obligations
  • The assets of each spouse
  • The matrimonial home and who paid for it
  • The debts of each spouse.
  • Each spouse’s ability to maintain the family home
  • The desirability of a party remaining in the family home to care for minor children

The priority must be given to the interest and welfare of any child from the relationship. The court may order that a spouse move out of the family home in the children’s best interest


Asset division is complicated and is not an easy decision to make, especially if children are involved. However, an expert family lawyer can help you make a decision that is best for you and your family.

Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP can provide you with the expert legal services of a seasoned family lawyer in Langley, BC. Contact us today so we can set up an appointment for you!






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