Will I Have to Sell My House After Divorce

If you have decided to file for divorce and jointly own a marital home with your ex-spouse, what will happen to the house as a result of the divorce? Both of you can’t live there. Will you be required to sell the house and equitably divide any profit? This blog post addresses this concern, and provides some options that may benefit you and your family.

How the Court and the Law View a Marital Home

If you live in an equitable distribution state, such as New Jersey, any home that was acquired during the marriage is part of the marital estate. The value of the house must be equitably divided between the parties. This does not, however, mean that its value must be equally divided. The court may find factors that support giving a greater percentage of the value to either party. The court can also give credits to one spouse to offset monies that might have otherwise come from different marital assets.

Options Regarding a Marital Home in a Divorce Proceeding

The starting point under the law is that the value of the marital home be divided equitably. Though you can sell the property and equitably share the profits, there is no requirement that you sell the marital home to accomplish an equitable distribution. Some options that you may consider include:

  • You can negotiate an agreement that allows you to keep the marital home in exchange for your interest in other assets jointly owned. For example, if you have a jointly owned investment portfolio, a boat or other valuable property, you may trade your rights to an equitable interest in those items for a full interest in the marital home.
  • You could agree with your ex-spouse to allow you to live in the marital home with minor children until your youngest child reaches the age of 18, at which time you would sell the property. You would accept responsibility for payments while you live there, but would share the profits upon the sale of the home. You may also want to offset the mortgage payments against your ex-spouse’s interest in the home at the time of sale.
  • If you desire to live in the marital home and are entitled to alimony, you may consider waiving your right to alimony in exchange for full equity in the marital home.
  • You can try to buy out your spouse’s interest in the marital home by way of getting your own mortgage. Sometimes a co-signer or another member of your family can make that happen more easily.

Contact the Law Office of Lyons & Associates

At Lyons & Associates, we bring a high level of personalized service and attention to men and women in New Jersey. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our office at 908-575-9777.