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Who Keeps the Family Home in a New Jersey Divorce?

If you are getting divorced in New Jersey, you may be wondering whether you or your ex-spouse will get to keep your family home. Read on to learn more.

How Are Assets Divided in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, your assets will most likely be divided through the process of equitable division. It is important to note that equitable does not mean equal. For the most part, your assets will not be split 50/50. Instead, they will be divided in a way that is fair to both parties. In order to make this decision, the court will consider: 

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of the parties
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage related to property distribution, for example, a prenuptial agreement
  • The income and earning potential of each party
  • The contribution by each party to the education, training or earning power of the other
  • The debts and liabilities of the parties
  • The child custody arrangement of the parties (if applicable)

Is my Home Marital or Separate Property? 

When a court determines the division of assets, they do so by considering what assets are marital property and what assets are separate property. Marital property is assets that were accumulated throughout the duration of a marriage, while separate property refers to assets acquired before or outside the marriage. Marital property is subject to equitable distribution and separate property is exempt from it.

A couple’s family home is considered marital property if it was bought during the marriage or converted into marital property during the marriage. But, if a spouse owned the house before the marriage and did not put the other spouse’s name on the title, it would not be subject to equitable distribution.

How is a House Divided? 

When equitably distributing a house, there are three main different ways that this can be done. Spouses can sell the house and divide the proceeds. Alternatively, one spouse can buy out the other spouse’s equity in order to keep the home. A final option can include co-owning the house in order to allow a family to keep their children under the same roof. 

If you are getting divorced in New Jersey, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to speak with an experienced and dedicated divorce attorney about your options.


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