Couples facing divorce often have fears about what assets they might lose when they split. For some, the largest asset they are concerned about is the family home. Both spouses may want to keep it. Or one may want to keep it more than the other. Yet, who will get to keep the family home in divorce? How is that decided?
New Jersey and divorce asset division
In New Jersey, a couple’s marital assets are divided equitably, in a fair manner. If you and your spouse bought your home during your marriage, it is marital property. Part of its worth may even be considered marital property if you purchased the home before you married.
Many couples decide to sell their home in divorce because they can’t afford to keep up with the mortgage payments on their own. They then split the equity they have in the home equitably.
However, if you want to keep the family home, you may need to have it refinanced so you can buy out your spouse’s share of its equity. You will need to have a realtor appraise your home for its worth. Then, you will need to work with your attorney, your spouse and their attorney to establish what share of the home’s assets they will receive as part your divorce settlement. You may decide to offer your spouse ownership of a vacation property or more assets in investments to buy them out of their share of the home’s worth.
Some couples decide to jointly own the home until a later point, perhaps after their children graduate from high school.
Negotiating asset division in divorce
You will need to work closely with your attorney while negotiating your division of assets in divorce. You may need your attorney to help you advocate for your keeping the home and determining which assets may be separate property – property you own on your own and won’t have to split with your ex.
Dividing assets often is one of the most difficult aspects of the divorce process – where you and your spouse may struggle to agree on who gets what. You will need to stay as flexible as you can, especially if you are set on keeping the family home.
In the end, you may feel like keeping the family home is worth it to provide your children with more stability in this uncertain time. Or you may just love your home too much to let it go. As long as you can afford to pay the mortgage on your own, you may want to fight to receive this important asset in your divorce.