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 what your options are particularly with your assets. Will they be split evenly among you and your spouse? Or is there another option for property division in New Jersey?
What is "Equitable Distribution"?
New Jersey enforces "equitable distribution" in property division cases. This means that if a divorce is forthcoming, the assets will be split up in a manner that is fair; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be exactly equal to 50% across the board.
Equitable distribution can be quite a bit more complicated than community property, 50/50 type of divorce settlement. First of all, our New Jersey law firm will help our clients fully determine just what assets are subject to the equitable distribution rules.
Assets such as the marital home, businesses, automobiles, bank accounts, stock options, and even lottery winnings or pensions could all be included in this plan. Of course, in order for these assets to be eligible for distribution, they usually need to have been acquired during the marriage, also known 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 evaluate 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.
Distributing the Assets
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.
Representing You in Your New Jersey Divorce
There is no question that divorce laws in New Jersey can seem very daunting and confusing to many of our clients. However, DeTommaso Law Group is made of qualified and experienced divorce attorneys that will represent your interests in a professional, competent, and qualified manner. A divorce is a difficult time for everyone, but with quality representation, you can rest easy knowing your rights are protected.
Give us a call today at (908) 274-3028 to discuss your divorce options.