Can I Stay In My Home During My New Jersey Divorce?
When divorcing your spouse, many stressful, critical, and difficult decisions must be made. Also, every state has different rules and legalities that you and your skilled divorce lawyer must thoroughly discuss.
One of the first issues that arise is whether, during your divorce, you or your spouse must leave your family home or compromises can be met. You both have rights, but some rules must be considered.
Under New Jersey divorce law, when you divorce (or go through the legal process), you and your spouse initially have equal rights to reside in your family home until your divorce is finalized.
This is usually true, even if your ex-spouse purchased the home years before you married. So, commonly, your spouse cannot require you to leave while your divorce is in progress. However, circumstances differ in all legal matters, including divorce, and if mitigating factors are involved, someone may have to move.
Let’s say that your divorce is significantly contentious. This could make cohabitating with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse highly uncomfortable and impossible. In a case like this, one of you may have to move.
Moving out may also impact your right to retain the home and the distribution of assets. However, this is only sometimes the case. If you must move out of your home, it usually does not eliminate your chances of retaining full equity in the asset. The ultimate decision regarding your home and investments will be mandated by the outcome of all the equity distribution dictated by your divorce.
You must note, though, that this issue, and many others in your divorce, is highly personal, and only by working closely with an experienced, skilled, and aggressive Morris County divorce lawyer can your goals and interests be adequately met.
Are There Any Legal Exceptions to Us Staying In Our Home While Divorcing?
Under New Jersey’s Divorce law, some exceptions would prevent you both from staying in your present home. This is commonly one of the first things you ask your divorce lawyer to help you decide. If you want to make your spouse leave, The answer, as much as you may not like it, commonly the court’s answer is no.
However, there are some exceptions to this issue, such as:
- If you and your spouse have a history of domestic violence or any abusive behavior, then New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act would allow the judge to remove a spouse from your home. This is usually done by issuing a restraining order.
- If your spouse’s behavior doesn’t exhibit domestic violence but possibly makes it dangerous, unfair, or against your child’s best interest, a motion can be filed in family court to have your spouse removed.
- This can become a tricky question if you cannot tolerate living together until your divorce is resolved. If you do move out, custody rights are one of the most common concerns, as the spouse who stays with the children tends to have an advantage in a custody dispute.
Your best path is to discuss this situation with your experienced Morris County divorce lawyer, as their guidance will be invaluable.
Are There Valid Reasons To Stay in My Home During My Divorce?
If you can live together (or get your spouse to leave), there are some advantages to staying in your family home.
Just a few of these reasons are:
- Custody of your minor children – This is one of the most important reasons not to leave home. The N.J. court could prefer either spouse who stays in the home when considering custody matters. If you want primary or 50-50 joint custody of your children, you should think twice before moving out of your home.
- Access to your belongings, documents, etc. – If you leave, there might be a chance you will not be allowed to return. Your spouse could change the locks, and you could lose access to financial information and other vital items and information you left behind.
- Financial concerns – Unless you temporarily reside with friends or family during your divorce, you could have to bear the financial burden of paying for two residences.
With every divorce, your circumstances differ, and posing all concerns with your empathetic and skilled divorce lawyer will help you decide if moving out or staying is in your and your family’s best interests.
How Can I Stay in My Home After My Divorce is Settled?
This is an entirely different issue that needs to be discussed thoroughly with your divorce lawyer.
Your home is a substantial asset and is always subject to New Jersey’s equitable distribution laws.
At times (say, due to the children’s best interests), you may negotiate for you (or even both spouses) to live in the home for a specific amount of time, let’s say until they finish school.
In some divorces, you or your spouse may “buy out” your equity in the house and become the sole rightful owner. If you chose to attempt this option, then you and your spouse would usually agree regarding who pays any associated costs, such as refinancing, second mortgages, etc.
These are only a few ways families decide who owns or may live in their home after the divorce. This is also commonly one of the main issues in your divorce; your experienced, skilled, committed divorce lawyer will be a valuable partner in these discussions.
I Wish To Remain In My Home During and Possibly After My Divorce; How Should I Proceed?
Going through a divorce can be, and usually is, one of the most personal, stressful, and heart-wrenching times of your life. Additionally, many highly significant, short- and long-term decisions must be made, only one of which is who stays in your home during your divorce.
The Morris County Edens Law Group has been helping New Jersey clients navigate the New Jersey divorce process for decades. They deeply understand the New Jersey Divorce laws, but more importantly, they know how gut-wrenching and difficult it can be to once again “be on your own.”
Call them today at (908) 529-0353 and thoroughly discuss your unique case’s dire and pertinent issues. Your current decisions will affect your and your children’s future for years to come, so the best professional legal help is mandatory for your new, bright, and fulfilling future life.