Suppose you are facing a divorce in the State of New Jersey. In that case, one of the most challenging issues involved is the division of your marital assets, which consists of those assets that you and your spouse acquired throughout your marriage. This division is an essential and complicated facet of family law. The surest way to help protect your financial rights throughout the divorce process is with a dedicated divorce attorney who has considerable experience at successfully resolving complicated matters related to equitable distribution in NJ on your side.
What Is Equitable Distribution in NJ?
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that the property acquired during a marriage (marital property) is subject to equitable distribution in the event of divorce. Equitable here does not necessarily mean that the division of property will be equal (or 50/50). Still, it does mean that the assets must be divided fairly – concerning the factors that New Jersey courts consider relevant. These factors are addressed in Title 2A – Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice: Section 2A:34-23.1 and they include all the following:
- The duration of your marriage
- Your age and your spouse's age
- Your physical and mental health and your spouse's physical and psychological health
- The income or property brought into the marriage (as separate property) by each of you
- The standard of living you and your spouse established during your marriage
- The terms included in any written legal contract based between you and your spouse regarding the division of your marital property before marriage or during your marriage (such as in a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement)
- The economic circumstances of both you and your divorcing spouse at the time the division of marital property goes into effect
- You and your divorcing spouse's separate earning power and incomes
- The contribution of each party to the earning management, education or training of the other
- Whether either of you hid, disappeared, gave away, spent down, or otherwise dissipated marital funds
- The tax consequences of the proposed division of marital property for both you and your soon-to-be-ex
- Any other factors the court deems relevant to the case at hand
All told, it's complicated, and the surest way to help protect your financial rights is with the skilled legal advice of an experienced divorce lawyer in your corner.
How Are Assets Divided in Divorce in NJ?
Once the applicable factors are considered in relation to your divorce, your marital assets – as offset by your marital debts – will be distributed between the two of you in a manner that is deemed equitable. Even in the most straightforward divorces, this division of assets has the potential to become one of the most hotly contested terms of divorce. Some of the factors that tend to turn the heat up a notch or two include:
- Marriages involving high assets
- Marriages involving business ownership
- Marriages involving generally complicated financials
- Marriages involving tightly Interwoven marital and separate properties
- Marriages involving ownership of multiple properties
Further, suppose your divorcing spouse takes it upon themselves to make the equitable division of your marital property as difficult as possible. In that case, there is very little you can do to stop them – other than carefully preparing to take the matter to court.
How Does Equitable Distribution Work in NJ?
The equitable distribution of marital property in New Jersey will begin with a thorough accounting of all your marital assets and debts. Once this is determined, you will then know what you're working with. From here, you'll need to consider what is equitable within the context of your marriage and divorce. For example, if you and your divorcing spouse have similar earning power and the other relevant factors are balanced, a 50/50 division is likely in order.
Reach out to an Experienced New Jersey Divorce Attorney Today
If you are facing a divorce, the equitable distribution of your marital property is a significant consideration that will likely play a critical role in your financial future. The distinguished New Jersey divorce attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C., focus their concerted efforts on building strong attorney client relationships and skillfully advocating for the most advantageous case resolutions. Your case is essential, and we're here to help – so please do not wait to contact or call us at 732-709-7757 to schedule your free legal consultation and get more information today.