New Jersey is an equitable division state, which means that property should be fairly apportioned between the parties during their divorce. However, this doesn’t mean that property must be divided equally between the parties. While an even split of property may be appropriate in some cases, it is inappropriate in other cases. This means that you cannot assume that you are entitled to 50% of all marital property in your divorce.
The first step to property division in a New Jersey divorce is to determine what property qualifies as marital property. Only property or assets that one or both spouses acquire during a marriage is marital property that must be divided in a divorce. Marital property can include the marital home, real estate, cash, checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, and businesses.
On the other hand, property that either spouse acquires prior to the marriage is not marital property (absent specific circumstances). Rather, this property may be separate property that remains the sole property of the spouse who acquired it before the marriage. Furthermore, if one spouse acquires property by gift or inheritance and retains it as a separate asset, that spouse may remain the exclusive owner of that property, even he or she receives the gift or inheritance during the marriage.
Once a court determines which property is marital property, the next determination is how to divide it equitably. In making that decision, a court can consider the following factors:
· The length of the marriage
· The age and health of each party
· The financial situation of each party, including any debts
· The current value of the marital property and the tax consequences of the property distribution
· The income and property brought into the marriage by each party
· The established standard of living during the marriage
· The contribution of each party to obtaining marital assets, including contributions by one party as a homemaker
At Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC , our attorneys are here to handle all of the different issues that involve families and children, including the distribution of property when spouses separate. We understand how difficult and stressful these types of cases can be in many situations, but we consider it our job to help guide you successfully through these and any other family-related legal proceedings that you may be facing. Contact our offices today to schedule an appointment with one of our highly experienced New Jersey lawyers and see what we can do to help with your case.