If you are going through a divorce in New Jersey, an awareness of the laws governing the division of property is essential. The laws on how marital assets are divided in divorce vary from state to state. In states that are classified as community property states, the marital assets are divided equally between the spouses. New Jersey is not a community property state. Instead, it is classified as an equitable division state.
Community Property State
As noted above, assets are divided equally between the spouses without regard to their individual finances. Equitable division states like New Jersey strive to divide the marital assets between the spouses fairly and reasonably. While an equitable division is sometimes equal, that is not always the case. Of course, before the division, the court must determine if all possessions held by the parties should be included as marital assets.
The existence of a prenuptial agreement could impact the court’s allocation of those holdings. While the court has the power of division of assets regarding those acquired during the marriage, money or property acquired before the marriage is usually not included in the calculation. Divorce proceedings are usually more complicated if the parties possess significant holdings in the marriage.
Equitable Division of Property
When determining the equitable division of property, New Jersey courts consider all assets, including:
- The family home and other property
- Life insurance policies
- Investment accounts, including bank accounts
- Personal property
Retirement assets acquired during the marriage, including IRAs, 401Ks, and pension plans, are also considered as marital assets and subject to equitable division by the court. New Jersey law does provide an exception to this rule for gifts or an inheritance that a spouse received during the marriage.
When the parties seeking a divorce choose mediation, they have greater control over the whole process from start to finish and may be able to reach a mutually agreed-upon division. Even when the traditional court process is utilized, a fair and reasonable division agreed upon by the parties before going in front of the judge will likely be supported and approved by the judge.
Marital Property Laws
New Jersey marital property laws provide good guidelines for judges to utilize when considering an equitable division of property. Beyond the value of the property itself, the court also looks at factors such as:
- How long the parties have been married,
- The income-earning ability of each party,
- The income and assets of each party prior to the marriage
- Possible tax liabilities to each party.
The age and health status of the parties may also be considered.
Need to Successfully Divide Assets? Call the Law Offices of James C. Dezao, P.A.
As you can see, equitable distribution factors considered in the division of marital assets are complex. If you are planning to divorce in New Jersey, get the assistance you need to assure you the fair amount you deserve. The New Jersey divorce law experts at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao are experts in dealing with divorce. We can answer all your questions and assist you through the entire process. Call us today for a free consultation at 1-833-JIMHELPS.