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Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Marital Home

Ocean County House Sale Disputes

Ocean County House Sale Disputes

Ocean County House Sale Disputes

by Jeff J. Horn, Ocean County Divorce Lawyer

Oftentimes, the family home is a major asset. Divorce asset division results in house sale disputes in Ocean County. In my 20 plus years of law practice I have handled hundreds of divorces involving Ocean County house sale disputes.

Ocean County house sale disputes before, during and after divorce.

Marital Home No. 1 – No agreement to sell the house. Will the family court force the sale?

Ocean County Family Court judges possess huge powers over house sale disputes. Inevitably, people in divorce equate the house sale to homelessness. Likewise, house sale equals kicking the children out of their home. Family Court judges balance the needs of the children and the financial equities.

Families with older children have different house sale issues. Obviously, saving a house for a high school senior to graduate with his or her class makes good sense. 

Marital Home No. 2 – Everyone agrees to sell.

However, the details are in dispute. Family Court judges want you to work it out. If in doubt, rely upon your professional realtor. The realtor’s reasonable advice goes a long way to resolve your marital home dispute.

Marital Home – No. 3 House sale proceeds.

Commonly, couples in divorce disagree on many issues. Communication can be very poor and lead to disputes over house sale proceeds. Are house sale proceeds automatically divided 50/50? No. Dividing the marital home is part of equitable distribution. There is no magic 50/50.

Parties in divorce can agree on a 50/50 division. Alternatively, they can agree on a different allocation. Or, agree upon a partial release of funds and hold the balance in escrow. Ultimately, if the parties cannot reach agreement, the Family Court judge will decide for you.

Family Court Case – Power to Sell the House 

[The Family Part is a court of equity.   We read the statutory requirement that directs equitable distribution at the time of the divorce judgment to be limited by the portion of N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 that authorizes the court in its discretion to “make such order as to the alimony or maintenance of the parties, and also as to the care, custody, education and maintenance of the children.”   We conclude that, consistent with N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 and Rule 5:3-5, the trial court may exercise its discretion to order the sale of marital assets and the utilization of the proceeds in a manner as “the case shall render fit, reasonable, and just.”

We acknowledge that in many cases the proceeds from the sale of marital assets should be placed in escrow pending final distribution. But in other cases, the proceeds may properly be used to pay marital obligations.   We leave to the discretion of the trial court the varying circumstances that may justify the sale of the marital assets and the utilization of the proceeds prior to the divorce judgment.]

Randazzo – NJ Supreme Court Case

Divorce in Ocean County

The First Days of Your Divorce

Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash