100 South Jefferson Road, Suite 200 Whippany | 
973-840-8970

What Happens to a House in a New Jersey Divorce?

When couples go through a divorce, it requires them to separate their lives from one another. A large part of this process is dividing the couple’s assets between the two of them. Going through this process can be difficult, especially when the two own a house together. Often times, couples wonder what will happen to their house and who it will belong to when their divorce is final. Houses that are considered to be marital property in a divorce are subject to equitable distribution. This means that the property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, between the two spouses. These situations can be complex, which is why it is important to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side.

When is a House Considered Marital Property?

Marital property is assets that are bought or acquired throughout the duration of a marriage. This means that if a couple purchases a home once they are married, it is considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution. If a spouse owned the house before the marriage and did not put the other spouse’s name on the title, then it is considered to be separate property. Therefore, it would not be subject to equitable distribution.

Equitably Distributing a Home

Property that is considered marital is subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. When facing this situation, there are three ways to equitably distribute a family home. This can include:

  • Selling the house. This is the easiest option, as most spouses cannot afford to buy out the other and keep up with the costs related to the home. The proceeds of the house can be divided equally or unequally to compensate a spouse for giving up another asset.
  • Arrange a buyout. One spouse can buy out the other spouse’s equity. Usually, in these situations, the buying spouse will arrange to refinance the loan, the selling spouse will receive their share of the equity, and the loan will be in the buying spouse’s name alone.
  • Continue to co-own the house. This option is common when the couple has children that will benefit from remaining in the same home. When this happens, one spouse usually moves out and waits for a period of time before the house is sold. 

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.