𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐜𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐄𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐉𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐲
States can enact their own laws regarding how property is divided in a divorce. New Jersey divorce laws require the “equitable distribution” of marital property, which means that everything that is considered to be marital property is divided in a fair manner, given the circumstances. Equitable distribution laws do not require you to divide property 50/50, but instead to consider different factors when determining a fair division.
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐺𝑒𝑡𝑠 𝐷𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑑?
The first step of property distribution is to determine what property and assets need to be divided. Put simply, marital property is divided, while each spouse keeps their own separate property. Marital property can include:
● The family home
● Personal property purchased together
● Income earned during the marriage
● Investments and retirement accounts
● Business interests obtained during the marriage
Even if one spouse purchased something in their name only, it will be marital property if they used marital funds for the purchase.
𝑉𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑡𝑦
Step two of the equitable division process is to determine the value of the marital property. This includes appraising real estate and business interests, as well as taking inventory of all financial accounts.
𝐷𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝐸𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒
There are many factors that go into the determination of what is equitable when it comes to dividing property. Some factors include:
● The length of the marriage
● The earning ability and financial resources of each spouse
● Whether there are any spousal support orders
● Each spouse’s separate property
● How each spouse contributed to the acquisition of the marital property (not only financial contributions but also household and practical contributions)
Consult with a Morristown Divorce Attorney About Your Situation
Property division is a major part of every divorce, and the Morristown divorce lawyers at Eveland & Foster, LLC, can work to protect your rights under New Jersey law. Call 973-285-3173 now.