New Jersey is an equitable division state, which means that marital property is divided in a manner that is considered fair to both parties. In some cases, this might mean that assets are split right down the middle. However, it's not common to see one person walk away with more than 50% of the marital estate. Let's take a closer look at the criteria used to determine how joint property is divided in a final divorce settlement.
Is There a Prenuptial Agreement?
If a couple has a valid prenuptial agreement, the language contained within the document will determine how joint assets are divided. For example, it may stipulate that one spouse retains full ownership of the family home while the other retains full control of a business created during the marriage.
Does One Spouse Earn Significantly More Money Than the Other?
If one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other, that person may receive a smaller portion of the marital estate. This is generally true whether the spouse who earns less money has a job or has chosen to stay at home to run the household. The goal is to ensure that the person who has a lower income has the assets needed to support him or herself after the marriage ends.
Are Both Parties to the Divorce Able to Work?
If one party to the divorce cannot work, they may be entitled to a more significant share of marital assets. For instance, that person might receive more than half of the funds inside a retirement, brokerage, or bank account.
Who Has Primary Custody of the Kids?
Generally speaking, a custodial parent will typically be given the option of remaining in the marital home. This is done to ensure that a child can retain some sense of normalcy during what is likely a chaotic time in that young person's life. A custodial parent might also be allowed to keep any other assets that might make it easier to raise a son or daughter without causing financial hardship.
If you are going through the divorce process, it's generally in your best interest to have legal counsel on your side. The attorneys at the DeTommaso Law Group, LLC may be able to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.