Division of Property during a Divorce in New Jersey
The division of marital property, also referred to as “equitable distribution”, is the judicial division of property rights and obligations between spouses who are divorcing. With equitable distribution, the marital property is not automatically split 50/50, but rather is divided in a manner that is deemed fair to both spouses.
It may be done by mutual agreement, a property settlement, or by judicial decree.
In the event a private agreement cannot be reached, and court involvement is necessary, the first thing the New Jersey court will do is determine which assets are considered to be marital property. Assets determined to be marital property will be subject to distribution between the spouses. Typically these assets include the marital home, bank accounts, automobiles, stock options, and pensions. Generally, it is any property acquired by either or both spouses from the time of marriage to the filing of the divorce. However, even things typically thought of as separate property, such as an inheritance or gift, may be considered marital property (and thus subject to equitable distribution) if the court determines that they have been “co-mingled” with marital assets.
Once the court determines which assets are considered marital property; the court will then determine the value of those assets. This can be a very complicated process that may involve retaining multiple specialists to evaluate and appraise things such as a business, property or stock options. Finally, once the court has made its calculations, it will distribute the assets in accordance with the New Jersey Equitable Distribution Statute. Through the Statute, the court is granted wide discretion and uses a long list of factors such as: the duration of the marriage, income of each party, standard of living during the marriage, and the contribution by each party; to determine how they will distribute the marital property assets.
Whether you are in the process of getting a divorce, or would just like to discuss your situation, the law offices of Freeman Hughes Freeman, LLC can help. Please contact Freeman Hughes Freeman, LLC at (201) 222-7765 or click here to schedule a free consultation.
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