Dividing Your Home During A Divorce

There are several hurdles to overcome during your divorce. Regardless of how your marriage ended, you and your former spouse spent the time you had together making your lives better and building a future. There’s peace of mind in knowing that you have a significant amount of equity built in your home—or that you have funded your retirement plan accordingly. But now that you are going through a divorce, you have the added concern of losing them. 

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. Upon hearing that, some people may assume that marital property simply gets divided equally or 50/50. However, that is not the case. Equitable distribution is synonymous with “fair” rather than “equal.” How does this apply to some of your more significant assets, such as a home?

Dividing The Marital Home

One option for you and your spouse to consider is selling the home and dividing the profits accordingly. This may be the best option for some people because neither person can afford to maintain the house independently. Even if your spouse was to buy you out (more on that in a moment), you still have to make the mortgage payments and pay property taxes. If you cannot handle this financially, you may need to sell the home. 

Depending on the market at the time of the sale, selling it may not be feasible or make financial sense. When children are involved, one person may want to keep the home because they are attached to it and enjoy its stability. If you can agree to how much your home is worth, you can arrive at how much equity you have in it. The person who wishes to stay in the house can pay you your share by taking out a loan or refinancing the home. Some people may not pursue the refinancing option because it mimics the closing process. There are costs and timelines associated with this choice, and those are something you and your spouse must consider. 

Another option is to maintain the home as it is and do nothing. It was mentioned previously that the housing market might not be in your favor—or you have children that don’t want to leave their home, friends, or school. 

You may need a decent amount of money and a cooperative relationship with your former spouse for this option to work. If you go to buy a new home after you move out, the debt from the marital home remains. Even if your spouse is the person making the payments, your new lender will still take them into account because you’re responsible for them. Secondly, maintaining a home takes work. Who will pay for the repairs, upkeep, and property taxes? Though this option could be the easiest one, it can create significant issues in the future.

Csépes Law Offices 

Regardless of which option fits you and your needs, Csépes Law Offices can assist you. Our role is to represent you and your interests while ensuring that the equitable distribution of your assets is fair. For more information about how we can support you during your divorce process, contact us to schedule a consultation

 

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