If you are getting divorced, there will be a lot of things on your mind. One of the most important issues you may consider is who will get to keep the house. If you and your spouse shared a home together, it can be difficult to decide what to do. Making decisions regarding your home can be especially tough because it is often a couple’s largest asset. Additionally, a house may have a lot of emotional and sentimental value. Read on to learn more about who gets to keep the house in a New Jersey divorce and how the decision might be made.
Is Your House Marital or Separate Property?
Marital property is property you have acquired during the marriage. Separate property is property you acquired before the marriage, or during the marriage but kept separate. It is important to note that separate property can become marital property. Few things in a divorce are cut and dry, so it is often difficult to determine ownership.
If you and your spouse purchased your house together, you will likely be entitled to 50% of its equity. But who gets to keep it?
If you bought your house before your marriage you may believe you are the sole owner. But if your spouse moves in and makes mortgage payments and/or helps with the upkeep of the home, the house becomes marital property, complicating ownership.
How will it be Determined?
You and your spouse may be able to come to an agreement about the house. For example, you may decide to sell it and split the profit. Or, you may be able to decide amongst yourselves which spouse should keep the house. In many cases, this is not possible, seeing as a home is a major asset, usually the largest when it comes to divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree upon the distribution of the house, a fair and equitable decision will be made by the court.
What will a Court Consider?
When making a decision about the house, the court will take many factors into account. Some of these factors might include:
- The length of the marriage
- The contribution of each party during the marriage
- The tax consequences that may impact the distribution
- The debts and liabilities of either party
- Child custody considerations
If you are getting a divorce and you have questions or concerns about what will happen to your home, reach out to a skilled divorce attorney today.
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