Who Gets the Family Home in a New York Divorce?

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When assets are divided between spouses during a divorce in the state of New York, it is not always an easy process. This is because neither party usually wants to give up the things they cherish. Oftentimes, one of the most valuable assets that is held within a marriage is a family home. Spouses facing these situations tend to wonder how this will be divided amongst them in the proceedings. When houses are considered marital property, they are subject to equitable distribution. Continue reading below to learn more about how this is done.

When is a House Considered Marital Property?

An asset is deemed as marital property when it is purchased or acquired during the marriage. This means that if a couple buys a home together after they are officially married, it is property that can be divided in a divorce. However, if one spouse owned the property before the marriage and never put their partner’s name on the title, it is considered separate property. Assets that are separate property are not subject to equitable distribution and therefore will not be divided in a divorce.

How is a House Distributed Equitably?

When a house is subject to equitable distribution in New York, there are three different ways it can be divided between both spouses. This can include the following:

  • Arrange a buyout. One spouse can buy out the other’s equity in the home. The buying spouse can refinance the loan so that the selling spouse can have their share of the equity. When this happens, the loan will be in the buying spouse’s name only.
  • Selling the house. As most spouses cannot afford to buy out the other and keep up with the costs of the home on their own, it can be sold and the proceeds can be divided equally or unequally. 
  • Continue to co-own the house. This is a common option when spouses have children together, as they can benefit from staying in the family home home. In these situations, one spouse usually moves out and waits until the house is sold. 

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Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.

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We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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