Divorcing couples may encounter new situations that are not always easy to plan. There may be child custody, visitation schedules, and property division issues that need to be resolved as the marital relationship dissolves. In some cases, family homes must be sold.
Although every divorce is different, there are three general ways family homes can be handled in a divorce:
- One spouse keeps the home; they buy out the other’s legal interest.
- One spouse lives in the house for a certain amount of time. This is generally until the youngest child turns 18 years old. Then, the house gets sold.
- The property gets sold as soon as possible, and any remaining equity may be divided up between the two parties.
Problems arise when divorcing couples are not in agreement about the property; one might not want to uproot the children from their home, another could be emotionally attached to the home. Even when they agree to sell, there can be disagreements about choosing a broker, the listing price, and other important details.
Can There Be a Court Order to Sell the Home?
In some cases, courts may force the sale of a home. Even if one spouse is still living in the home, they could be ordered to liquidate the property and vacate the premises. This happens when marital property needs to be divided up equitably and there are roadblocks.
Before a sale is ordered, the court will likely investigate the divorcing couple’s other sources of assets, including retirement accounts, other owned properties, and liquid cash. It may be possible to work out a settlement and avoid the sale. A judge could also order the home to be sold when the spouses cannot agree.
What Is Equitable Distribution in New Jersey?
Equitable distribution is not the same as an equal split. The division of assets must be fair and based upon all the applicable circumstances. Courts may consider factors such as:
- Age of both spouses;
- Income of both spouses;
- Economic situation of both spouses;
- Length of marriage; and
- Standards of living throughout the marriage.
The goal is to reach a decision that is just and reasonable, and it is not unusual for an agreement to be flexible enough to meet the needs of both spouses. Still, the sale of a home can be ordered before a divorce is final, depending upon the circumstances.
Whitehouse Station Divorce Lawyers at Tune Law Group, LLC Help Divorcing Couples Navigate Property Division Issues
If you are divorcing and have concerns about the sale of your marital home, our experienced Whitehouse Station divorce lawyers at Tune Law Group, LLC can help. To learn more, complete our online form or call us at 908-434-1061. Located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, we serve clients in and around Hunterdon County, Monmouth County, Whitehouse, and Tewksbury.