Heymann & Fletcher

Understanding how a home is handled during property division

For many New Jersey spouses, one of the most pressing concerns during the course of a divorce is how the family home will be handled. Many people feel deep connections to their homes, especially if they have raised children in the properties or gone through various milestones while living in them. When divorce occurs, spouses must determine what to do with the family home, which is a common area of contention during the property division process.

One option is for both spouses to agree to sell the property and divide the proceeds. This is often the easiest approach, as it allows for the disposition of the equity in the home to be handled in a simple and easy manner. However, in some situations, one spouse wants to remain living in the property until the time of sale. That can make matters a bit more complicated.

Another option is for one partner to buy out the other and remain living in the home. This can be tricky, because it can be difficult for the spouse who wishes to retain the home to secure adequate financing to buy out the other spouse's share of the equity. If refinancing is not possible, this leaves the departing spouse still listed on the mortgage to the property, even if he or she is no longer on the deed to the home.

Dividing the value of the family home is a common property division concern for many New Jersey residents seeking a divorce. There are a number of different options available, each of which has its own distinct list of pros and cons. By working with a professional divorce attorney, spouses can evaluate each option and find a solution that best fits their needs and goals.

Source: Bloomberg, "Divorce and the family home", Ben Steverman, Oct. 15, 2016

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