When you think about your home, you may think about the view from the window when you enjoy your morning coffee. You may think of your children studying in their bedrooms or playing in the yard. You may think about the changes you have made over time to make this house your home.
Divorce brings significant changes to your life, and it may change your place of residence in the process. Is it possible to stay in your home and continue to enjoy these aspects of your life? What other options will you have?
How do the courts address marital homes?
In New Jersey, the courts consider most property acquired during the course of a marriage to be jointly owned by both spouses. This can even include property purchased before the marriage but paid for or maintained using marital funds. The courts divide this property as equitably or fairly as possible, factoring the couple’s unique situation into the distribution of assets.
Because of this, divorcing couples in New Jersey generally have three options available to them:
- One spouse keeps the house, allowing the other to keep other valuable assets in exchange
- Allow the house to remained jointly-owned, often with an agreement about how the house will be handled in the future
- Sell the house outright and divide the proceeds along with their savings and other assets
Should you keep your family home?
During property division, you may have the option to keep your family home, and this decision can offer you a variety of different benefits. It allows you and your children to remain in a comfortable, familiar space. It ensures that you and your family continue to have access to the resources you already value.
However, the decision to keep your house can come with some significant challenges. Not only do people who keep their family home often have to sacrifice other valuable assets in order to do so, they must also face the costs of refinancing their home and maintaining it in the future.
If you wonder whether keeping your family home is the right choice for you and your finances, you may want to speak to an experienced attorney about your unique circumstances.