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Does Leaving Marital Home Before A Divorce Affect Property Rights?

Does Leaving Marital Home Before A Divorce Affect Property Rights?

Many individuals facing divorce are afraid to leave the marital home prior to the finalization of a divorce because they believe they may lose their rights to the equity in the property. While in New Jersey a party seeking a divorce may plead under the no-fault claim of irreconcilable differences, a party in a divorce has the right to plead willful desertion (abandonment) if it is continuous for a minimum of twelve months. This claim may be proven by proof that the parties ceased to cohabit as man and wife in a marriage or partners in a civil union. N.J.Stat. 2A:34-2(b). How can this affect the outcome of your divorce? In New Jersey the division of property is determined by considering fifteen specific factors plus an additional catchall factor of anything that the court may deem relevant under N.J.Stat. 2A:34-23.1. Equitable Distribution of property between spouses is not determined based upon fault of a party. Leaving one’s home prior to a divorce or during a divorce for even the shortest amount of time may affect other issues such as custody. If an individual leaves the marital home and stops contributing to the monthly marital expenses such as a mortgage and home equity their share of the equity in the property may be affected. For more information equitable distribution, custody, alimony, child support, divorce, dissolution or other family law matters in New Jersey, visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. Contributed by Tracy Luciano

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