Who Gets to Keep the Home in a New Jersey Divorce?

There are few assets more important to couples than their home. Homes have financial and emotional value, which is why if you are someone who is going through the divorce process, you are most likely wondering whether you will get to keep your home in a divorce. Please continue reading and speak with our New Jersey divorce attorneys to learn more about equitable distribution and how it may impact you. Here are some of the questions you may have about the legal process ahead:

What is equitable distribution?

When a couple gets divorced and cannot agree on who gets what assets, the courts will have to first determine which property is marital property and which property is separate property. Once they do, they will then have to decide which spouse is entitled to certain marital property. Unfortunately for many, the phrase “equitable” does not mean “equal” or a 50/50 split. In fact, in most cases, the phrase equitable distribution simply refers to what the court determines is a fair and just distribution of assets. They will consider a wide range of factors when determining the fair and just outcome, which is why you need an experienced divorce attorney who can work to prove that you are entitled to what is rightfully yours.

Are houses generally considered marital property in New Jersey?

As previously mentioned, marital property is property acquired during a marriage, while separate property is property acquired outside of or before a marriage. That being said, in most cases, houses are considered marital property, as both spouses live in them and contribute towards them via renovations, daily chores, improvements, and more. This means that in most cases, your house will be up for grabs in the equitable distribution process.

How do New Jersey courts decide who will get to keep the house?

New Jersey courts will examine a wide array of factors, including both you and your spouse’s yearly salary, your earning potential, your child custody agreement, your age and health, whether you have an alimony or child support agreement in place, and more. Additionally, they will consider other factors, such as whether the dependent spouse stayed home to raise the children and look after the house vs. the supporting parent contributing monetarily.

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 your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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