What Am I Entitled To in a Divorce Settlement?By Moskowitz Law Group, LLC |
Divorce is a stressful experience in many ways – mentally, emotionally, and financially. One of the most difficult and contentious aspects of divorce is the division of assets. Many people are unaware of what they are entitled to in a divorce settlement, and what they may have to give up. Unfortunately, not knowing how state divorce law will affect you can result in an unfavorable outcome.
Because all divorce cases are different, it’s difficult to say what you may be entitled to in a divorce without considering the unique factors involved in your case.
Financially, there are three topics that will need to be resolved in a divorce:
- Division of assets
- Child support
- Spousal support (also called alimony or spousal maintenance)
There is little in the way of guidance when it comes to determining who gets what in a divorce. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means marital property is divided in a way that is equitable, but not necessarily equal.
But who defines what is fair? How are you to know if you are getting a fair settlement, especially if you are being offered less than 50 percent of the marital assets? Because there are so many facets of property division, this matter can be highly complex. Property division is much more than just deciding what happens to the marital home and joint bank account – there are several other important things to consider, including how to divide retirement accounts, home furnishings, credit card debts, and more. In addition, the impact an asset will have on a person’s cash flow and/or tax liability must also be taken into consideration. An attorney has the legal knowledge and skill to ensure all of your assets and liabilities are accounted for as they work toward the most favorable solution for you.
In New Jersey, child support is determined by Child Support Guidelines. While there is a guideline calculator available online, this only provides an estimate and reflects the minimum standards for child support obligations. This amount may not realistically be enough to meet your children’s needs, especially considering there are many expenses not taken into account in these guidelines. Examples include braces, daycare, school supplies, and much more. While this calculator may give you an idea of what you may expect, how will you know if you are entitled to more? This is where your family law attorney can help. We are familiar with the methodology used to determine child support in New Jersey and other legal intricacies that may affect the outcome of your case.
Spousal support can also be a highly contentious financial matter. What happens if your spouse thinks you are entitled to much less than what you are asking for? What if neither of you are willing to budge on this matter? In nearly all states, there is no concrete formula to calculate alimony. However, the law states both ex-spouses are entitled to live in roughly the same standard of living after a divorce. This means you don’t have to worry that one of you will be living a life of luxury while the other struggles to survive. In these situations, it is a good idea to work with a mediator who can help you cooperatively discuss your financial situation and come up with a fair plan.