Going through a divorce is a complex process, as it requires two spouses to separate their lives from one another. This requires them to divide their assets between the two of them. This process can prove to be difficult, as spouses share a great deal of marital property. Usually, this includes their family home. 

When going through a divorce, spouses often wonder what will happen to their home when the divorce is official. As most houses are deemed as marital property, they are subject to equitable distribution in the state of New York. This means that the property is divided fairly between both spouses. It can be beneficial to have an experienced divorce attorney on your team to help navigate these situations. 

When is a House Considered Marital Property?

When an asset is bought or acquired during a couple’s marriage, it is considered marital property. Thus, if two spouses purchase a home together once they are already married, the house is classified as marital property and can be subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. If one spouse bought and owned the home before they got married and did not put the other spouse’s name on the title, the house is considered separate property. This means that it is not subject to equitable distribution, as it belongs to the sole owner on the title.

Equitably Distributing a Home

It is important to know that when a property is equitably distributed during a divorce, it is not always done equally. Instead, it is done fairly in a way that can benefit both spouses instead of one. When facing the equitable distribution of a home, there are three main ways this can be done. This includes the following: 

  • Selling the house. As most spouses cannot afford to buy out the other and keep up with the home costs, this tends to be the easiest option. Once it is sold, the proceeds can be divided equally between both spouses. Or, it can be divided unequally to compensate a spouse for giving up another asset.
  • Arrange a buyout. One spouse can buy out the other spouse’s equity. When this happens, the buying spouse usually arranges to refinance the loan, the selling spouse receives their share of the equity, and the loan will only be in the buying spouse’s name.
  • Continue to co-own the house. This is a common option when a couple has children that benefit from staying in their same family home. In these situations, one spouse usually moves out and waits for a period of time before selling the house. 

Contact our Firm

Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys guiding clients through matters of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant law. If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.