What Happens to Your House in a Divorce?

Prior to a divorce being finalized, the couple must divide their assets in a way that satisfies both parties. The court will get involved only if the couple is not able to negotiate a fair agreement.

Equitable Distribution in New Jersey

New Jersey courts use equitable distribution rules when dividing property in a divorce. Equitable distribution focuses on fair, rather than equal, division of marital assets and liabilities. A couple’s assets may be split 50/50 or 40/60; there is no specific division that applies to every divorce.

Property acquired prior to marriage will return to the original owner, and community property, meaning property purchased jointly while married, will be split between the two parties. Community property can include valuable assets such as houses and cars, and dividing it fairly can often become contentious. Equitable distribution laws are designed to try and help that process go as smoothly as possible, but the parties may be unsatisfied with the court’s decision.

Determining Who Keeps the Family Home

The family home is one of the most controversial assets for the divorcing couple. Uprooting and moving out can be traumatic and emotional, especially if there are children involved. The court considers many different factors when deciding who gets to stay in the home, including:

  • Each party’s age and health
  • Pre- or postnuptial agreements
  • Who has primary custody of children
  • Finances

If children are involved, the primary caregiver of the children often keeps the house. Another important factor is finances. If the court is going to grant ownership to one person, they must be able to pay for the house or afford the mortgage. These factors, and many others, can influence who will keep the house in the event of a divorce.

Contact Our Divorce Attorneys for Advice

Divorce is complicated enough as it is, but attempting to identify and document all of your assets without help can feel overwhelming. For help negotiating a fair property division agreement, reach out to the Moskowitz Law Group LLC. Our attorneys have extensive experience guiding clients through every step of the divorce process. Call today to learn how we can help.

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