Property that May be Immune from Equitable Distribution

Divorce DecreeIn the event of a divorce, the marital assets that were accumulated during the marriage are distributed.  This process is called equitable distribution.  If you are going through a divorce, you must familiarize yourself with the concept of equitable distribution and become acutely aware of what assets or other items are not subject to being equitably divided.  Outlined below are various types of property that would be considered immune from equitable distribution.  This means that if you have any types of the following property listed in your possession, in all probability you would not have to share a percentage of it with your spouse during your New Jersey divorce.

Eligibility of Immune Assets

In general, assets acquired either before or after the marriage are not subject to equitable distribution.  However, under certain circumstances, the general rule has exceptions.  The commencement date for being entitled to any equitable distribution is generally the date of the marriage.  Typically, the cut-off date that is used is the filing of the Complaint for Divorce.  As indicated above, there are exceptions to this rule.

Pre-Marital Property

Pre-marital property is property that was acquired by either spouse before the marriage.  An example would be stock purchases by either spouse prior to the marriage.  Often times, individuals attempt to further protect their respective pre-marital properties by entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, which clearly delineates the assets that were acquired prior to the marriage as well as the value of those particular assets.

Post-Marital Property

Post-marital property is property acquired after the marriage is over.  However, if the post-marital property was purchased with assets that were acquired during the marriage, then it may not be immune from being calculated as part of the marital property.  If you’re not sure if your property is immune from distribution in New Jersey, you should contact a divorce lawyer who can answer all of your questions.

Gratuitous Transfers

Assets under this category include two different types: gratuitous transfers from third parties in the form of gifts, inheritances and intestate acquisitions; and transfers between spouses made in connection with a separation.

Equitable Distribution Can be Quite Complicated

A thorough understanding of New Jersey’s equitable distribution statute and the relevant case law interpreting it is essential in order to insure that you receive what you are entitled to when you are going through the divorce process.  Typically, the main issues of contention in the divorce are alimony and child support.  It could be a mistake not to carefully consider all aspects of equitable distribution (the division of marital property).

It is quite common that the value of equitable distribution of the marital assets would far exceed the alimony or child support that is paid for the duration of the specified term.  In the event that you are contemplating a divorce and are in the process of scheduling an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer, it would be very helpful to both yourself and the attorney to have a comprehensive list of any and all assets that you feel may be subject to equitable distribution.  A review of that list at your initial divorce consultation will provide you with some idea as to what you can expect at the conclusion of your case.

Call Us for Your Equitable Distribution Needs

Partner Vincent C. DeLuca of Villani & DeLuca has successfully mediated hundreds of divorce mediation cases.  He is certified by the Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney and he has also been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as an Economic Mediator.  If you are filing for divorce in New Jersey and you have questions about equitable distribution or any other aspect of the New Jersey divorce process, please call Villani & DeLuca today at 732-965-3350 and schedule your free initial consultation.

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