New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state, which means courts will divide “marital property” equitably, i.e. fairly, but not necessarily equally, meaning you may lose your house. It can be difficult to identify what is marital property, but generally, it includes all property that either spouse acquired during the marriage, excluding property either spouse acquired through a gift or inheritance. To determine whether or not the laws of New Jersey will cause you to lose your house, please read on, then contact an experienced Ocean County property division attorney today.
Will my spouse receive the family home during a divorce in New Jersey?
No, you are not guaranteed to lose the marital home during a divorce in the Garden State. As stated above, the court will divide marital property equitably, but that will, very likely, not constitute a 50/50 split. Most likely, the court will award one spouse or the other with full possession of the house. However, that will not necessarily end your involvement with it. Furthermore, depending on your spouse’s cooperation, you may be able to come to an agreement as to the distribution of the marital home.
What are your options with regard to the marital house in New Jersey?
Upon a divorce, you have three ways to equitably distribute the family home. They are as follows:
- Sell the house: Often, it is easiest to sell the home and divide the proceeds. In some cases, this is the only feasible option because neither spouse can afford to buy out the other or keep up with the expenses of keeping the home after the divorce.
- Arrange a buyout: Usually, the buying spouse will arrange to refinance the loan and at the closing, the selling spouse will receive the agreed-upon share of the equity. Afterward, only the buying spouse’s name will appear on the mortgage loan.
- Continue to co-own the house: When children are high school age and it would benefit them to remain in the home and in their current school for a few more years, some spouses agree to maintain the status quo and continue to own the house together, with no sale or refinance. However, this option may be expensive.
If I want to get divorced, should I move out of the family home?
Depending on your particular family situation, you may or may not want to move out of the family home. Generally, the court does not penalize either spouse when one moves out. However, it is often in your best interests to remain in the family home and remain civil with your spouse. Among other benefits, you will have access to your children, financial documents and other important property.
Before you make any major decisions, speak with a skilled Ocean County divorce attorney.
Contact our experienced Ocean County firm
If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.