A divorce is a difficult process and there are a lot of decisions you will have to make. One of the biggest decisions a couple faces is who will get the house in the event of a divorce. This can be a difficult choice to make because the home is usually a couple’s largest asset. Additionally, the house likely has a lot of sentimental value. For these reasons, among others, deciding upon which spouse keeps the house, if either, is extremely challenging.
What is Marital Property?
It is important to know which type of property your home falls under. Marital property refers to property that has been purchased during the marriage. Exempt property has been purchased before the marriage, or during the marriage but is kept separate. Exempt property can become marital property. For example, if you purchase a house before you are married, but your spouse moves in and begins making mortgage payments or contributing to the upkeep of the home, the home becomes marital property. If your home is considered to be marital property, it will be subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.
What are my Options?
- Sell the house
- Many couples choose to sell their home and split the profit.
- Arrange a buyout
- One party can buy the other spouse’s equity and keep the house for his or herself.
- Co-own the house
- Some couples, especially with young kids, will choose to co-own the house, with one spouse residing in the house and the other moving out. Once the kids are of age, the house will likely be sold and the profits will be split.
What if We Can’t Decide?
It can be difficult to choose. One spouse may want to keep the house and the other might want to sell. If the couple chooses to co-own the house, which one moves out? If a divorcing couple cannot come to a decision amongst themselves, the court will make a decision.
What Does the Court Consider?
There are various things a NYC court will take into consideration when it comes to dividing assets. Some of these factors include:
- Length of marriage
- The age and health of each party
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Income and earning capacity of each person
- Value of the property
If you are going through a divorce and you have questions about your home and the division of assets, reach out to our firm today.
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.