What Happens to my Home in the Divorce?
One of the most frequent concerns our Passaic County divorce clients have is what will happen to their home in the divorce. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. Homes are treated much like other marital assets such as businesses, investments, and real estate properties during a divorce, and in order to determine what will happen to your home, you and your Passaic County divorce attorney must first discuss several key determining factors.
Wayne NJ Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
The first thing your Wayne, NJ divorce attorney will ask you any time you are considering a divorce or concerned about your divorce settlement agreement is whether or not you and your spouse have a signed prenuptial agreement, or any other marital agreement in place. This is because the terms included prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements supersede divorce law in many areas, including equitable distribution, child custody, and alimony.
If you and your spouse have a signed marital agreement of any kind, it is critical that you disclose this information to your attorney, so that they can thoroughly review the document and assess its impact on these key divorce issues.
The Duration of the Marriage and the Titled Owner of the Home
If there is no prenuptial agreement, or your prenuptial agreement doesn’t contain terms regarding the ownership of your home, then the next factor to consider is the duration of your marriage, and the titled owner of your home. If you are the sole titled owner of the home, and the home was not purchased during the course of your marriage, the shorter the marriage’s duration, the harder it may be for your spouse to prove they have made marital contributions which would entitle them to joint ownership of the home.
However, if the home was purchased during the course of your marriage, regardless of the title, the home will be considered marital property, and thus subject to equitable distribution laws. Similarly, even if you purchased your home prior to the marriage, the longer your marriage lasted the easier it becomes for your spouse to claim they have made marital contributions which entitle them to joint ownership.
Marital Contributions and Marital Property Passaic County Lawyers
As previously mentioned, over the course of your marriage, both parties will most likely have made contributions to the ownership of assets such as a home, businesses, or commercial property which entitle them to joint ownership. Marital contributions can be anything from actual money invested in the upkeep or maintenance of these assets, to personal sacrifices such as leaving a job or forgoing educational opportunities in order to maintain a home or business.
The longer your marriage, the more likely it is that your spouse will have made contributions which would qualify previously separate property to now be marital property, and thus subject to equitable disitrubtion.
Equitable Distribution Attorneys Clifton, NJ
Although there are many situations where an asset which was separately owned later becomes marital property and part of your asset division agreement, there are still options available to you in order to maintain possession of specific assets after your divorce. An experienced Clifton asset division attorney will able to negotiate for assets important to you by offering assets to your spouse of equitable value. Critically, equitable does not mean equal, only fair, and this important difference is what allows experienced attorneys to favorably negotiate on your behalf.
If you are concerned about retaining ownership of specific assets after your divorce, speak with your attorney regarding what assets are important to you, and what you may be willing to offer in exchange. There is a great deal of room for negotiation during this process, and having an experienced asset division attorney working for you will allows you to take full advantage of this fact.
Contact Our Passaic County Asset Division Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of The Montanari Law Group, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Wayne, Clifton, Little Falls, West Milford, and the greater Passaic County area with all manner of divorce issues, including marital asset division.
If you are concerned about retaining possession of any kind of asset after your divorce, including a home, commercial property, a business, or investments, our attorneys are prepared to thoroughly review your specific situation, and work towards securing you the marital property division agreement that best meets your unique needs.
To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, your divorce, or any divorce-related issues including equitable distribution, child custody, child support, and alimony, please contact us online, or through our Little Falls, NJ office at (973) 233-4396.