Division of Assets in New Jersey
There are many matters for a couple must take care of before finalizing a divorce. One of the most important parts of a divorce is splitting assets and figuring out which spouse maintains certain possessions. Sometimes, a couple can come to an agreement about the distribution of assets outside of a courtroom. Other times, one spouse may feel they have the right to more of the assets for certain reasons. In this case, a couple may have to go to court in order to decide which assets belong to whom.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
The state of New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state. Contrary to popular belief, equitable does not always mean there is an equal distribution. It means the assets will be divided fairly to both spouses in the divorce. In order for the state to do so, they must establish the difference between marital property and separate property.
- Marital Property: Any assets and/or debts that are acquired during the marriage by both spouses. This also includes any separate property that was brought into the marriage and converted into marital property.
- Separate Property: Any assets and/or debts that were possessed before the marriage and agreed to stay separate. This may also include other properties, gifts, and inheritance.
After state courts determine the difference between a couple’s marital and separate property, they can begin to distribute them properly. Because the distribution is fair and not always equal, there are several additional factors that are taken into consideration when distributing property. Some of these factors may include:
- The age and health of the couple
- Economic circumstances
- Each spouse’s contribution to marital property
- Any tax consequence that may apply
When courts distribute assets equitably, they do not usually consider if a spouse is at fault for the end of the marriage. What they may consider is if one spouse irresponsibly wastes their assets in order to change their finances.
When a couple is divorcing, mediation is usually seen as a helpful tool in coming to amicable agreements regarding certain issues. Through mediation, separating spouses can negotiate to come to a conclusion on the matter at hand instead of leaving the decision up to a judge. Mediation can often save the money and time of not only the couple but the court.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to speak with an attorney about your division of assets, contact the Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC. today.
The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.