What is equitable distribution?

Even after couples file for divorce, there are many decisions that must be made. Filing for divorce may be one of the hardest decisions, but the decisions that are left to be made have the ability to cause more turmoil between spouses. During these times, couples are experiencing enough emotional distress. Now, they must start thinking about more practical decisions for the overall situation. This includes the division of assets. While some couples may be able to do this in mediation or they have a prenuptial agreement set up, it can be hard for others to reach a decision. This can cause couples to enter into litigation where the court will divide assets based on equitable distribution.

Equitable distribution is a concept that courts use when dividing marital assets between spouses in a fair and just manner. The state of New Jersey continues to practice equitable distribution. This means that the judge will assess determining factors to divide the assets. However, equitable distribution does not mean assets will be divided equally between the divorcing spouses. The judge will assess factors, such as each party’s contribution to the marital property, their health, their age, tax consequences and economic status associated with each party. After considering these factors, the judge will make their decision, which can differ vastly for each individual case.

How are marital property and separate property organized?

Before equitable distribution is used to divide assets between spouses, the court will determine the difference between marital assets and separate assets. Marital property is considered to be assets that are acquired during the marriage between the two spouses. These assets are left for the court to decide on how they are distributed between the two parties. In comparison, separate property is something that was not a part of the marriage. This may include a spouse’s inheritance or any personal gifts. Due to this, the separate property will be owned by own individual already.

Can fault in a marriage impact distribution?

With cases that decide the division of assets between spouses, it may not be impacted by the fault declared for the divorce. Since equitable distribution is the law that New Jersey follows, this is what they consider most during these cases. However, economic impact related to the fault claim may be necessary to consider. If a spouse was to waste away assets in preparation of a divorce, it may have an impact on the division of assets. Each case is decided on specifically by a judge, which makes them unique in the way that assets are divided.

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.