Divorce is a challenging and emotionally draining process, and dividing assets and property can be one of the most contentious aspects of the process. In New Jersey, assets and property are divided equitably, which means that the division should be fair and just, but not necessarily equal. This blog post will provide an overview of how to divide assets and property in a New Jersey divorce.
Identify and value all assets and property
The first step in dividing assets and property is to identify and value all marital assets. Marital assets are those acquired by either spouse during the marriage, including but not limited to real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, and personal property. It’s essential to make a comprehensive list of all assets and their estimated value to ensure an equitable division.
Determine separate property
Separate property is property that belongs to one spouse and is not subject to division in a divorce. This can include property owned by one spouse before the marriage, inherited property, and gifts received by one spouse during the marriage. It’s essential to identify and separate these assets from marital assets to avoid any confusion during the division process.
Consider factors that may impact the division
New Jersey law requires judges to consider various factors when determining an equitable division of assets and property, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- The income and earning capacity of each spouse
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The contributions of each spouse to the marriage
- The tax consequences of the division
- Develop a property settlement agreement
Once all assets have been identified, valued, and separated into marital and separate property, it’s time to develop a property settlement agreement. This agreement should outline the division of assets and property and should be reviewed and approved by both spouses before submitting it to the court for final approval.
Seek legal advice
Dividing assets and property in a divorce can be a complicated and emotional process. Seeking the advice of an experienced divorce attorney can be beneficial in ensuring that your rights are protected, and the division is fair and equitable.
Consider the division of the family home
The family home is often one of the most significant assets in a divorce, and it’s essential to consider how it will be divided. In New Jersey, the family home is typically considered marital property, regardless of who holds the title. There are several options for dividing the family home, including selling it and splitting the proceeds or one spouse buying out the other’s share.
Address retirement accounts and benefits
Retirement accounts and benefits are often significant assets in a divorce, and it’s essential to address how they will be divided. In New Jersey, retirement accounts acquired during the marriage are generally considered marital property and are subject to division. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) may be necessary to ensure that retirement accounts are divided appropriately.
Be prepared for negotiations
Dividing assets and property in a divorce often requires negotiations between both spouses and their attorneys. It’s essential to be prepared for these negotiations and to approach them with a clear understanding of your rights and what you hope to achieve from the division. It’s also important to be flexible and willing to compromise to reach a fair and equitable division.
Keep emotions in check
Divorce is an emotional and challenging process, and it’s easy to let those emotions drive decisions about the division of assets and property. It’s essential to keep emotions in check during the process and to approach the division in a logical and rational way. Seeking the advice of a therapist or counselor can be helpful in managing emotions during a divorce.
Follow the court’s orders
Once the property settlement agreement has been approved by the court, it becomes a legally binding agreement. It’s essential to follow the court’s orders regarding the division of assets and property to avoid any legal issues or penalties in the future.
Dividing assets and property in a New Jersey divorce requires careful planning, negotiation, and consideration of various factors. Seeking the advice of an experienced divorce attorney and approaching the division process with a clear head and an open mind can help ensure a fair and equitable division. By following these steps, both parties can move on with their lives and start a new chapter.
Brian Freeman, as a divorce attorney in New Jersey, can provide valuable assistance in dividing assets in a New Jersey divorce. Here are some ways he can help:
Legal guidance: Brian Freeman can provide legal guidance on the division of assets and property in a New Jersey divorce. He can help his clients understand the law and how it applies to their specific case, as well as the different options available for dividing assets.
Identifying and valuing assets: Brian Freeman can assist his clients in identifying and valuing all marital assets, including real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, and personal property. He can also help his clients determine what assets are separate property and not subject to division.
Negotiation and mediation: Brian Freeman can negotiate on behalf of his clients to reach a fair and equitable division of assets. He can also facilitate mediation between both spouses to reach an agreement that works for everyone.
Drafting a property settlement agreement: We can draft a property settlement agreement that outlines the division of assets and property, ensuring that it is legally binding and protects his client’s rights.
Court representation: If necessary, Brian Freeman can represent his clients in court to ensure that the division of assets and property is fair and equitable.
Brian Freeman can provide legal guidance, identify, and value assets, negotiate, mediate, draft a property settlement agreement, and represent his clients in court to help divide assets in a New Jersey divorce. His expertise and experience can ensure that his clients’ rights are protected and that they achieve a fair and equitable division of assets