Couples seldom exchange vows in New Jersey with the assumption that they will divorce later. However, the rate of divorce in the United States is roughly 50 percent. For many of these divorcing couples, the family home is their biggest marital asset. Soon-to-be exes have three options for dealing with real estate when they divorce.

Keeping the original mortgage is one option. One spouse can take over the mortgage but keep the title in both of their names. Couples have the option of refinancing the mortgage and having just one spouse keep the property. There is also something called the assumption of mortgage, which is when one party takes over the mortgage but the lender removes the other name from the deed without requiring that the owner refinance the loan.

Assuming a loan is a good choice for those with good credit who do not want to pay any additional fees. However, not all mortgages include an assumption claim option. This can make it extremely difficult for one spouse to take over the home without refinancing the loan.

When dealing with property division during a divorce, it’s extremely helpful to work with an attorney. One spouse may want the other to buy them out of the loan. This individual will need to raise the funds necessary to pay their partner half of the equity in the home. Mortgages are not the only property that couples need to divide. Any assets jointly owned in both names could be considered marital property. Attorneys can help couples divide any type of property, including vehicles and vacation homes.