Will I Lose My House if I Get Divorced?

A set of keys with a keychain lies on a wooden surface in the foreground, symbolically suggesting home ownership or real estate, with a small model house in soft focus in the background, evoking

The termination of your marriage does not necessarily mean that you will lose your house. In fact, this determination will be based on the equitable distribution laws of New York state. With equitable distribution, a judge will determine a fair and just allocation of your marital assets, including your house. Follow along to learn how a judge will make a property distribution decision and how a proficient Nassau County property distribution lawyer of Barrows Levy PLLC can help you in navigating this process.

Will I lose my house if it is considered exempt property?

By New York law, your house is considered exempt property if it was bought or owned by you or your spouse, but not the both of you, before your marriage. That is, there is only one name on the title and the house only belongs to the sole owner of that title. This means that, if your spouse is the sole owner of the title, your house is not subject to equitable distribution, and thus, you might lose it.

That said, other examples in which your house would be considered exempt property and exempt from equitable distribution are as follows:

  • If you or your spouse were given the house as a gift.
  • If you or your spouse inherited the house.
  • If your house was excluded from the marital estate in your prenuptial agreement.

Will I lose my house if it is considered marital property?

On the flip side, your house is considered marital property if it was bought or acquired during your marriage. With this, your house will be subject to equitable distribution and you may not necessarily lose it.

During your property distribution proceedings, a judge will assign value to your house and equally distribute its value between you and your spouse. If you want to keep your house, the following are potential scenarios that may play out:

  • Arrange a buyout: this is best if you can afford to buy out your spouse’s equity. With this, you must arrange to refinance the loan and place it only in your name, and also give your spouse their share of the equity.
  • Continue to co-own the house: this is best if you have children that would benefit from staying in the same family home.

However, if you cannot afford to do either of the above, you may choose to sell your house. Once sold, the profit will be divided equally between you and your spouse.

If you are still unsure about which course of action to take, it is in your best interest to contact a talented Nassau County contested divorce lawyer at your earliest convenience.


If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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