– from Joyce T. in Elm Grove, WI

Question Details:

I know that this question cannot be truly answered by anyone except a judge, but I at least would like to know some possible outcomes. My husband and I both work full-time, and we bought our house 50/50. It is completely paid off. Everything in the home is jointly owned. We have two kids that were born and raised in this house, and they do not want to leave. We both want the house, and we both want custody. Who will most likely get it?

Family Law Attorney Response:

“I take it that you have not spoken to a lawyer directly at this point, so to begin, I would like to recommend that you speak to a family law attorney face to face right away. He/she will be able to provide you with advice as to the best direction, your options, and possible outcomes.

From what you have explained in your question, there is not a lot I could tell you. You both have rights to the house, children, and assets, so there are numerous scenarios that could take place. If you both stand firm and fail to negotiate the judge will likely require you to seek mediation and or arbitration. The judge will ultimately decide the outcome, but under their discretion he/she could consider who the children want to live with too.

Learn about the role a parenting coordinator plays during a divorce. 

If the current situation is not amicable you may also need to seek temporary orders until the final judgment and divorce declaration is complete.

In the case, Sandy v. Sandy, 106 Wis. 2d 230, 316 N.W.2d 164 (Ct. App. 1982), Affirmed by 109 Wis. 2d 564, 326 N.W.2d 761 (1982), the scenario was the same where both parties wanted custody and the house and both had equal right to both. The judge ordered both, husband and wife, would alternate residency and custody every two months. Neither felt this was a fair decision, but upon appeal, the decision was affirmed.

My advice is to seek legal representation immediately to give yourself the best possible chance to keep the house and children.”

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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