Long Islanders from all walks of life who are going through a divorce will probably have to figure out what to do with their family home.
Most of the time, a person’s residence is considered marital property in a New York divorce. This is true even if the home is only in the legal name of one spouse.
This means that, like other property, a court will divide the value of the home in a way that seems fair. The court will also decide who keeps the family home. The court could also order the home sold.
What the court does depends on the specific circumstances and how the court applies New York law.
The couple may also choose to negotiate how they will handle the family home and submit their agreement for the court’s approval.
How hard should I fight to keep the family home after my divorce?
Many people feel strongly about their family residence. The home may have a lot of equity in it that they were counting on in their long-term financial planning.
Also, family homes often mean a lot both to a couple and to their children. After a divorce, both the parents and the court may feel like ensuring the children stay in the family home is a good thing.
There are some good questions a person should ask before deciding whether to request the family home and how hard to push for what they want:
- Can I afford the home? Keeping up a home means paying the mortgage, taxes, maintenance, utilities and other expenses.
- How much will have to pay to buy out my spouse’s interest in the home? Likely, the person’s spouse will be entitled to a share in the home’s value, and the person keeping the home will have to figure out how to make that up.
- Do I have good enough financial standing to get my spouse’s name off the mortgage?
- Do I really want to stay in the home, or would moving better serve my long-term goals?
Even after asking these questions, a Long Island resident should make sure they understand all their options and alternatives.