Division of Marital Assets in a New Jersey Divorce
Among the myriad complications that arises during divorce proceedings is the division of marital assets, or more simply, who gets what and why. Even the most amicable of divorces may struggle to push past this part of the process, as there are some assets that cannot be evenly divided, and depending on each spouse’s educational and vocational background, the intervention of a mediator or even a judge may be required to ensure equitable distribution. If you are concerned about which marital assets you will receive in your divorce, or if you have reason to believe that your spouse may try to withhold assets, be sure to watch our legal videos below regarding the ins and outs of distribution of assets.
Determining Division of Marital Assets
New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state. That means that any assets acquired between the date of the marriage and the date one party filed a com-plaint for divorce are subject to be distributed “equitably” – which can often mean 50/50, though that isn’t necessarily the case. Income, bonuses, retirement accounts, and property can be distributed. The list runs much longer; you’d be surprised by things that the court considers part of the marriage “pot.”
I’m Worried That My Spouse Is Hiding Marital Assets
One of the frequent questions that I’m asked is also, what if I believe that my spouse is hiding assets? That can be a very serious situation, particularly if you believe that the lifestyle of the marriage was such that your spouse, with the income that they’re claiming they earn now, could not possibly have been what was used to sustain the lifestyle of the marriage. You probably will need to have some investigation done to see if there are other assets that the spouse has not disclosed.
Locating Your Spouse’s Assets
In any high-asset divorce case, both parties will undergo a full and thorough asset search, including assets held out of state or overseas. You may end up hiring a CPA or forensic accountant to study your spouse’s bank statements and tax filings to look for discrepancies and red flags. (It’s unwise to hide assets; if found out, you’ve weakened your position in the eyes of the court, making yourself appear untrustworthy.) Most other countries will accept the jurisdiction of a divorce proceeding in New Jersey, but some don’t.