Rental Value of Marital Residence
During divorce proceedings, when one spouse is no longer residing in the marital residence where the other spouse continues to reside, it may be possible for a spouse who has left the marital residence to receive a credit for the fair rental value of the marital residence during the time they resided outside of the house prior to the divorce settlement or Divorce Master’s decision. Rental value is the amount of rent that the parties would receive if a tenant, rather than the other spouse, were living in the home and paying the parties rent to live there. A credit for rental value is discretionary. It can also be offset by the cost of mortgage, taxes and insurance that the spouse who remained in the house had to pay. The Divorce Master will not always award rental value simply because one spouse has moved out, but will rather determine whether an award of rental value is fair under the particular circumstances of a case.
Reasons for not awarding rental value include domestic violence or PFAs, premarital ownership of the marital residence, spousal support considerations, and the presence of the parties’ minor child(ren) in the home. If the spouse who is seeking a rental credit has been convicted of a violent offense against the spouse living in the marital residence, or there is a PFA against the spouse seeking a rental credit on behalf of the spouse living in the residence and/or their child(ren) who reside there, the Court will not grant rental value. If the spouse residing in the marital residence purchased the home premaritally, and the other spouse has not been added onto the deed or otherwise made significant contributions to the home, the Court typically will not award rental value. If spousal support amount has been altered (called a “deviation”) to account for the marital residence costs, oftentimes the Court will not award rental value. Finally, the Court generally will not award rental value if the parties’ child(ren) continue to live in the marital residence.
If you would like to learn more about rental value in your divorce case, call Tanner Law Offices at (717) 731-8114 to schedule a consultation.