In a perfect world, divorcing couples would be able to agree on the division of assets without any drama or conflict. However, in the real world, this is often not the case. One of the most contentious asset divisions can occur when a couple owns multiple homes. In this blog post, our high-asset divorce attorneys at Sherwood, Johnson & Poles discuss what happens to these homes during asset division in New Jersey. We will discuss how they may be classified and divided and how they can affect the overall outcome of the asset division process.
Asset Division for high-asset Couples
When it comes to asset division in New Jersey, there are two main types of assets: marital property and separate property. Marital property is any asset that was acquired during the marriage. This can include homes, cars, furniture, savings accounts, investments, heirlooms, and other valuable items. Separate property is any asset acquired before the marriage or after the date of separation. This can include inheritances, gifts, homes, and anything else that was not acquired during the marriage.
Since homes can be classified as either separate or marital property, it can be difficult when approaching the asset division process. You should compile all documents regarding the purchase of the homes for use as evidence when the ownership of your properties is determined.
In most cases, all of the assets that a couple owns will be classified as marital property. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If an asset was purchased with separate funds (such as an inheritance), it might be classified as separate property. Additionally, if an asset was purchased jointly, but one spouse can prove that they contributed more than the other spouse, then the asset may be classified as separate property.
Once the assets have been properly classified, they can then be divided between the two spouses. This is typically done through negotiation or mediation. However, if the couple is unable to reach an agreement, then they may have to go to court and have a judge make the decisions for them.
Division of Homes
When it comes to asset division, homes are often one of the most valuable assets that a couple owns. For this reason, they can also be one of the most difficult assets to divide. There are a few different options that a couple may consider when it comes to dividing their homes.
One option is for one spouse to buy out the other spouse’s share in the home. This can be done by refinancing the mortgage and taking over the payments or by adjusting property acquired during the division of assets process. You may opt for less valuable assets or to take on debt as a result of “buying out” your spouse’s stake in the home.
Split The Homes
There is no rule that states the same party must exit the marriage with all of the couple’s homes. You and your spouse may opt to split the homes amongst yourselves, with one keeping the family home while the other keeps the vacation home.
Another option is for the couple to keep the home and continue joint ownership. This can be done by keeping the mortgage in both names and continuing to make the payments. Alternatively, one spouse can buy out the other spouse’s interest in the home.
Selling the Home
The final option is for the couple to sell the home and divide the proceeds from the sale. This is often the easiest option, but it may not be possible if the couple is unable to agree on a price or if they owe more than the home is worth.
If you have more than one home, you can always divide the homes using a combination of these strategies. A skilled high-asset divorce attorney can help you understand your options.
Prepared to Help, Every Step of the Way
Asset division can be a complex and difficult process, especially when a couple owns multiple homes. Our high-asset divorce attorneys at Sherwood, Johnson & Poles can help you navigate this process and ensure that your assets are properly classified and divided.
Call us today at (888) 224-1218 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you through this difficult time.