Celebrity gossip outlets have already dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to the divorce of Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy, a couple who gained national renown through their appearance on the ‘Real Housewives of New York.’ The man, who is a pharmaceutical representative, filed for divorce earlier in 2013, but the couple is reportedly still living together in their $5 million apartment. The situation has led to not only questions about child custody, but also an increasingly tense property division situation.
One of the more difficult questions during any divorce relates to the ownership of the family home. Homes are generally one of the most significant assets in a marriage, making property division issues even more sensitive. The case of Frankel and Hoppy raises additional questions about exactly who should be allowed to remain in the marital home after a breakup. In this particular case, neither of the members of the couple will move out of the apartment because they think that action could be construed as abandonment under law in the state of New York. They believe the person who leaves could face an uphill fight in retaining rights to the property after the divorce. That law changed to reflect no-fault divorce protocol such as that currently present in Maryland.
Legal information from experts shows that statement to be patently false. No matter if one person moves out of the marital home, it is still considered an asset that was acquired during their marriage. That makes it fair game for negotiation during a divorce. The value of the property would be divided during the breakup, regardless of who actually lives there.
If you are concerned about the future of your marital home, you do not have to take drastic steps such as continuing to live with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Instead, consult a qualified family attorney to help you learn more about your financial and legal rights. Property division questions, especially those pertaining to the family home, are sensitive and should be handled by an experienced professional.
Source: www.forbes.com, “Should you move out of the marital home? Learn from divorce attorneys, not the tabloids” Jeff Landers, Jun. 11, 2013