Do I Have to Sell My Home if I Get Divorced?

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New House.

When you are getting divorced, there are different ways to deal with the marital home. If there is equity in the home that the couple accrued during the marriage, it will be divided between the spouses in some manner, in conjunction with the parties’ overall property division.

Selling the marital residence and splitting the proceeds is one of the easier ways to resolve the issue. This may be a necessary option if neither spouse wishes to remain in the marital residence, or neither spouse can afford to remain in the marital residence. The spouses will have to cooperate to the extent necessary to sell the home, but they will each receive liquid assets as opposed to real estate, which can enable them to make a new start or purchase another home.

Another option, if one spouse wishes to remain in the marital residence and can afford to do so, is for that spouse to buy out the other spouse’s share of the equity in the home. Perhaps the simplest way to finance a buy out is to refinance the home solely in the name of the spouse who wishes to stay living in it. This procedure allows the other spouse to remove his or her name from the mortgage, which relieves that spouse of financial liability. During the closing, that spouse also will receive his or her share of the equity in the home.

If a spouse wishes to remain in the marital residence, but cannot afford to refinance or buy out the other spouse’s interest, another option may be for that spouse to remain living in the home, without any distribution of equity to the other spouse, for a certain period of time. This situation may be particularly appropriate if the parties have minor children. For instance, it is not uncommon for the custodial parent to be able to remain in the home until their youngest child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school. At the end of that time period, the spouse living in the home must either sell the residence or refinance the home and pay the other spouse his or her share of the equity. The downside to this option, however, is that the name of the spouse who is not living in the home likely will remain on the deed to the house, as well as on the mortgage loan. If the spouse living in the home defaults on mortgage payments or property taxes, the other spouse would be jointly liable for these debts. It is also could preclude the other spouse from being able to move forward with his or her own purchase of a new home. For obvious reasons, this is not a commonly accessed option.

Divorce and separation is never easy, and it can be particularly painful in some circumstances, such as when a spouse fears that he or she can no longer afford to maintain the marital residence. In times like these, it is difficult to make financial decisions that are truly best for you and your family. It is in these kinds of cases that a New Jersey divorce lawyer can be most useful to you and truly make a difference in the outcome of your case. Visit our website at http://argentinolaw.com. You also can email us at info@argentinolaw.com, and one of our staff members will get back to you right away.

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