If you are going through a divorce and in the process of dividing marital property in New Jersey, you will want a skilled and experienced division of assets lawyer by your side. This can aspect of divorce can be complex, and you will need an attorney to ensure your assets are divided fairly and equitably. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Dividing Marital Property in New Jersey | Equitable Distribution
New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that the marital assets and debts are to be divided in a fair and just manner given the parties’ relative contributions and sacrifices to the marriage. It does not mean that they will be divided evenly or 50/50. New Jersey courts apply a list of specific statutory factors to determine how much of the marital estate each partner receives at the conclusion of the divorce.
Dividing Marital Property in New Jersey | Factors
Among the many factors the courts consider when distributing assets are:
- Duration of the marriage
- Age, health, and income of each party
- Standard of living during the marriage and property brought into the marriage
- Future income and earning capacity, including education, training, skills, and work experience
- Custodial responsibilities
- Debts and liabilities of each party
- Present value of properties
As you can see, New Jersey’s statutory factors are quite extensive. The degree of emphasis a court may give to each factor varies with the circumstances of each marriage. Courts typically place the greatest importance on the duration of the marriage and the accustomed marital lifestyle of the parties. Litigating asset distribution has the potential to be a time-consuming, expensive and tedious process with an unpredictable outcome that rests in the hands of one judge as opposed to the two spouses. It doesn’t have to be. Parties are not obligated to have the court make the final decision about the division of their marital assets. They are free to negotiate the terms of their property division and iron out an agreement.
If you have any questions about how the interplay of these statutory factors might affect your divorce, do not hesitate to contact us today. We will work with you to establish a property division plan that you and your spouse can attempt to agree to, if possible, so that the decision rests in your hands rather than the court’s.