As you know, divorce is stressful, both emotionally and financially. When the prospect of losing a home comes into the picture, it only adds to this stress, as most people are emotionally attached to their homes, which, without question, is oftentimes also their most significant financial asset as well. Please continue reading and speak with our New Jersey divorce attorneys to learn more about how courts determine which spouse can keep the house in a divorce. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is the equitable distribution process like?

Essentially, when a couple gets divorced and cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, they will very often enter the equitable distribution process, wherein New Jersey courts will decide who gets to keep which assets. In many cases, unfortunately, equitable does not mean equal, and oftentimes, one spouse will feel as though he or she was denied the right to keep certain assets that he or she felt entitled to. Instead, the phrase “equitable” refers to what New Jersey courts believe is a fair and just distribution of assets.

Is a house considered marital property?

In the equitable distribution process, New Jersey courts will separate property into two categories: marital and separate property. Separate property has to do with property acquired before, or outside of, a marriage. On the other hand, marital property deals with property acquired during a marriage. In most cases, houses are considered marital property, which is why if you are currently getting divorced, you may find yourself fighting to keep your home.

How will New Jersey courts determine who will get to keep the house in a divorce?

New Jersey courts will consider a wide range of factors when determining who gets to keep the marital home in a divorce. For example, they will consider which spouse is financially dependent. In many cases, the financially dependent spouse will get to keep the home, however, this is not always the case. Additionally, if the financially independent spouse primarily contributed to the home monetarily, though the other spouse raised the kids and took care of the home, courts will also consider this. They will also consider your child custody agreement, whether one spouse requires alimony/child support, and both spouse’s age and health, among other things. The bottom line is that if you are looking to keep your home amid the divorce process, you must retain the services of an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney who can work to fight for what is rightfully yours. Our firm is here to help.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.