Under New Jersey’s divorce laws, property acquired during your marriage divides fairly between you and your spouse. If you wish to keep your primary residence, several factors may require discussion and negotiation. 

In certain cases, one spouse needs to continue living in a family home, especially when taking custody of the children. Child custody or support issues may determine whether the court awards you sole ownership of a house. 

Taking over the mortgage

Your income as a single-household earner and your credit score may affect your ability to refinance or take over a mortgage. As noted by U.S. News & World Report, an award of child or spousal support included in your divorce decree may help cover the funds needed to make a mortgage payment. A custodial parent, however, might end up keeping the house but eventually become cash-poor. 

Children tend to leave home once they reach adulthood, and an ex-spouse may no longer have an obligation to provide support. If you are a custodial parent, your household budget might fall short in the future without child support. You may need to plan for an alternative means of covering your mortgage payments. 

Planning for the home’s maintenance 

In many situations, a household’s income after a divorce reflects a significant reduction. Your divorce decree, however, may include spousal support payments to help you afford the upkeep on a residential home. 

A New Jersey court typically calculates the amount of financial support based on two spouses’ combined income. Preparing a budget based on your single earnings may help show the court how much you need in additional support to cover a mortgage payment, taxes and homeowners insurance.