Marriages are partnerships in which property becomes intertwined and finances
shared. If you are contemplating divorce, understanding how the process
works and what New Jersey law has to say about the way your property will
be divided is important. That’s because
property division can be one of the most challenging and contentious aspects of any divorce
– and one that can have a significant impact on your future.
At Moskowitz Law Group, LLC, our New Jersey family law attorneys leverage
decades of combined experience guiding clients through their legal journeys
and all issues involved in their divorce, including property division.
Below we explain what New Jersey considers marital property, and how those
assets are divided in divorce.
The state of New Jersey considers assets acquired by a married couple –
either individually or together – during the course of a marriage
to be marital property. This is regardless of how property is titled (i.e.
if a vehicle purchased after marriage is under one spouse’s name,
it is still considered martial property). In addition to assets,
marital property also includes debts acquired during the course of a marriage.
Because separate and marital property can be commingled during a marriage,
it can be difficult to identify what is considered separate and marital
property. Our legal team assists clients in determining what is divisible
under law and what is not. This includes identifying separate property
that cannot be divided, such as property acquired as an inheritance, or
acquired before a marriage and kept separate.
Generally, most divorce cases involve the division of certain common assets.
While these include obvious forms of physical property like the family
home, they can also include division of other types of assets. For example,
a divorce may involve the division of:
- Homes, rental properties, and other real estate
- Financial assets (bank accounts, stocks and bonds, etc.)
- Tax refunds
- Debts, including credit
- Retirement accounts and benefits
- Debts, including credit card debt
- Special collections, antiques, or artwork
Aside from distinguishing between marital and separate property, it is
also important to accurately value marital property subject to division.
Assets are typically valued at fair market value, which may require business
or real estate appraisals, or forensic accounting.
Spouses seeking divorce in New Jersey will need to come to agreement over
how their marital property will be separated. If they cannot come to an
agreement, a decision will be made by the court. Because New Jersey divides
property under equitable distribution rules, marital property will be
fairly, but not necessarily equally, divided in a divorce. This is a matter
that can be influenced by a number of factors, including the duration
of a marriage, each spouse’s age and earning potential, the standard
of living established during the marriage, and more.
Resolutions for property division can be reached in various ways, including
one spouse “buying out” the other spouse’s share of
a particular asset, such as the family home. When disputes over marital
property or valuation arise, they are best handled by experienced attorneys
who can effectively advocate for your best interests.
If you have questions regarding divorce and property division, our legal
team at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC is available to help.
Contact us for a FREE case evaluation.