When Can One Party Get Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Home
This idea of exclusive use and possession of the marital home almost always comes into play in those divorce cases involving minor child. The general rule is that absent compelling financial reasons, the parent that has the majority of the time-sharing should be awarded the exclusive use and possession of the marital home. This is seen as the best way to maintain the status quo for the children and limit disruption to their lives.
Now, there are limitations. Seeing as though the marital home is almost always either the only asset or the highest valued asset that a couple may have, this notion of exclusive use and occupancy by one party usually ends once the children reach the age of majority. At this time the home would be sold, and the equity split accordingly.
There are instances where there are no children of the marriage and exclusive use and possession by one party may be appropriate, but they are few and far between. Typically, the party requesting exclusive use and possession under these circumstances would have to show that granting their request would serve some “special purpose”. What is considered a “special purpose” is ultimately up to the Court to decide.