Asked in Contracts, Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for New Jersey

Q: I am married and relocating to New Jersey. I plan to purchase a home in NJ...

I am married and relocating to NJ. I plan to purchase a home in NJ. I will be putting in approximately 90% of the funds to buy the home and my spouse only 10%. We're buying the home cash without a mortgage. Question 1: can we specify in the deed the respective ownership % of each party? Question 2: in case of a divorce, how likely is the court to respect the stated percentages owned by each party so that either party doesn't end up with more/less than was originally put in (percentage wise)?

5 Lawyer Answers
Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
Answered
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. You can seek to obtain an experienced matrimonial attorney to prepare a post nuptial agreement that embodies the terms you mentioned. You should also consider the alternatives, which include taking a mortgage and putting down an equal amount or do not buy the house, if you are even thinking about a possible divorce.

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq. agrees with this answer

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
Answered
  • East Brunswick, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Attorney Boyer is right. A Postnuptial agreement however is only enforceable provided it is fair at the time they are made and fair at the time that they are sought to be enforced. The deed really wont help you. Make sure both of you have your own lawyer.

Morris Leo Greb
PREMIUM
Morris Leo Greb
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockaway, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: A very easy answer is to form an LLC which would have in its organic document the relative interests of the parties. Then take title in the name of the LLC. This will also shield the identity of the owners. This is a common technique technique. The name of the LLC could simply be the street address, i.e. 1Main Street, Anytown, LLC.

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
Answered
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: You started off saying that you are married. So, the real question is where is your 90% coming from and where is your wife's 10% coming from? If the money is all coming from your employment-related income during the marriage, then it is marital money being used to buy the home and anyone who tells you that you can create a tenancy setting you 90% ownership is blowing smoke up your backside. If the 90% is coming from a separate inheritance account or from a specific premarital account (properly segregated), that maybe a different setting and then I suggest that you meet with a family law specialist to learn how to properly protect it.

Bari Weinberger
Bari Weinberger
Answered
  • Parsippany, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Thank you for your inquiry. Generally speaking, any property acquired during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution regardless of the named parties on the title to property. That being said, I suggest scheduling a consult with an attorney to discuss your options in more detail such as a post-nuptial agreement, to address your concerns.

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