Who Gets the House in a New Jersey Divorce?

Divorce is complicated. Nobody wants to deal with a divorce. However, if you find yourself in a place where it’s the only reasonable option on the table, you have no choice. Unfortunately, the emotional impact of a divorce is very often compounded by its financial impact, especially if you believe you may lose your house.

When you cannot agree on your divorce’s terms with your spouse, your assets may enter the litigation process and will, therefore, be up for equitable distribution. If you believe your house or other valuable assets may be at stake, please read on and learn more about your legal options going forward:

What does equitable distribution mean in a divorce?

“Equitable distribution” is a tricky term, because many people think it simply means a 50/50 split of your assets. However, a lot of the time, both spouses do not contribute to a marriage in a 50/50 way, either financially or otherwise, so when they get a divorce, a court will adjust the allocation and distribution of assets accordingly.

“Equitable,” in this case, means something closer to a “fair and just distribution of assets.” However, if you are someone who lost their home, it is easy to understand why you may not feel the court’s decision was fair at all. This is why you must hire an experienced attorney from the start.

Is a house considered marital or separate property?

Marital property is defined as all assets accumulated during your marriage, while separate property includes assets acquired before or outside of your marriage. Marital property is subject to equitable distribution, while separate assets are usually exempt from distribution. Houses are considered marital property, and are therefore up for equitable distribution.

How does the court decide who will get to keep the house?

The court carefully analyzes both you and your spouse’s financial means and overall situation to get a better understanding of how your lives will be affected by equitable distribution. To get a better idea of how to distribute your assets, a court will consider you and your spouse’s age, your health, whether you or your spouse are financially independent, any child custody, child support, or alimony payments in place, and more.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.

To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about moving out of your marital home during your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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