Is A Co-Signed Home Subject To Marital Property Division?

Question:

I want to divorce my wife, but I recently co-signed with my parents to buy a house with my name on the deed.

Would my wife have a claim to this home through a marital property division?

Answer:

I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on New Jersey divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

In most states, all property which is acquired during the course of the marriage is subject to equitable distribution. Under my state’s equitable distribution statute, marital property is defined as all real and personal property acquired by either spouse or both from the date of marriage to the date of the filing of the divorce complaint.

In most equitable distribution states, property acquired prior to the marriage and property acquired during the marriage by third party gift or by inheritance is not subject to equitable distribution.

Since it appears that you have not yet filed for a divorce yet, the property you co-own with your parents may be deemed a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. I do not know, for example, whether you contributed any money towards the purchase of the property and if so, what the source of those funds was.

If, for example, marital funds were used to contribute towards the purchase of the home, then it would be considered a marital asset subject to equitable distribution.

There are many factors a court considers in making an equitable distribution of property.  Where I practice, among the factors the court considers are the length of the marriage; the age, physical and emotional health of the parties; the income or property brought to the marriage by each party; and the economic circumstances of  each party at the time the division of property becomes effective.

Equitable distribution can be a confusing issue as there are a multitude of factors that the court will consider in making an equitable distribution of marital property. Therefore, it is important that you seek the advice of a men’s divorce attorney before addressing any equitable distribution issues raised in your divorce.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Christine A. Dolan, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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