As a married individual in New Jersey, it can be difficult to reach a point where it is evident that all is lost in your marriage. At this point, it is common to wonder how NJ divorce laws affect your options with regards to dividing your assets. Will they be split evenly among you and your spouse? Or is there another option for property division in New Jersey?
Is NJ a Community Property State?
New Jersey is not a community property state. New Jersey is an "equitable distribution" state when it comes to dividing marital property. This means that, in a divorce, assets will be split in a manner that is fair. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will be divided exactly 50/50.
Worried about losing everything in a divorce in New Jersey? Call DeTommaso Law Group today at (908) 274-3028 to consult a lawyer and learn how we could help!
What is "Equitable Distribution"?
Equitable distribution can be quite a bit more complicated than a community property, 50/50 type of settlement. First of all, our New Jersey divorce law firm will help our clients fully determine just what assets are subject to the equitable distribution rules.
Assets such as the following could all be included in this plan:
- The marital home
- Bank accounts
- Stock options
- Lottery winnings
Of course, in order for these assets to be eligible for distribution, they usually need to have been acquired during the marriage, therefore qualifying as "marital property." Only these assets are subject to division in a marriage.
The next step in an equitable distribution divorce case is to fully valuate all of the marital assets. This could be as simple as just looking at the bank statements, or it could mean that we have to hire an independent appraiser to give you a value on such things as a business or various examples of real estate.
Dividing Assets in Divorce
Finally, the last step in equitable distribution is often the most complicated as well as the most important step. When the court divides assets, they have very broad discretion in determining just how to fairly distribute the assets. They will base this on many factors. Please be aware that the following is by no means an exhaustive list.
Courts will base the distribution of assets on such things as:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and health of the parties
- The marital standard of living
- The economic circumstances of each party
- Any other factors that are deemed relevant
So no, New Jersey is not a 50/50 divorce state by any means. However, the equitable distribution setup is what New Jersey courts have deemed to be the fairest way to divide assets in a divorce settlement for each of the parties.
Call DeTommaso Law Group, LLC Today!
There is no question that getting a divorce in NJ can seem very daunting and confusing to many of our clients. However, DeTommaso Law Group, LLC is made of qualified and experienced attorneys that will represent your interests in a professional, competent, and qualified manner. Divorce is a difficult time for everyone, but with quality representation and familiarity with NJ divorce law, you can rest easy knowing your rights are protected.