Does the Court Split Everything 50/50 in a Divorce?By Moskowitz Law Group, LLC |
When it comes to divorce, many spouses express concerns and questions regarding the division of their property. Although some have been led to believe that all marital property is divided equally among divorcing spouses with a 50/50 split, the truth of the matter is that property division depends on where you live and the individual circumstances of your case.
First and foremost, divorcing spouses have the ability to work property division out on their own. This requires communication and the ability to compromise, as well as the help of experienced attorneys who can help negotiate fair resolutions and protect your rights and interests. Often, reaching agreements about property division will involve trade-offs, such as one spouse buying out the other’s share of the family home. Our legal team at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC helps clients explore creative solutions when facilitating property division agreements.
If spouses are unable to decide how to divide property among themselves, or either spouse disputes or disagrees with certain suggestions, the issue will be decided by the court. Because New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, property will be divided equitably. This means that it will be divided in a fair manner, but not necessarily an equal 50/50 split.
When dividing property, New Jersey courts address three primary factors. These include:
- Marital property – Courts must first determine what assets are subject to division. Under state law, any assets and debts acquired during the course of the marriage are considered marital property, and therefore subject to equitable distribution. Determining what is marital and separate property can be a challenging matter, and one spouse will need help from an attorney in proving one way or the other. For example, tracing funds and co-mingled assets can help establish how an asset that was once separate property became marital property.
- Valuation – Courts will also need to value marital property for the purpose of equitable distribution. In some cases, this can be a straightforward matter, such as tabulating bank statements. In others, however, it can require a great deal of work. Spouses can also work with attorneys to assist them in properly valuing their assets, such as the value of a business, unique collections, stocks, retirement accounts, and more.
- Equitable distribution – To determine the most equitable (of fair) way of dividing property, courts consider a number of factors. These include the duration of the marriage, the income and property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living during the marriage, whether there are prenuptial agreements, each spouse’s earning potential, contributions to the earning power of the other spouse, and more. Supporting your stance in relation to these and other factors considered by the court is important to protecting your rights and interests.
Because property division can be one of the most difficult, and at times contested, aspects of divorce, representation from experienced divorce lawyers is critical. At Moskowitz Law Group, LLC, we have helped numerous clients across New Jersey and New York navigate the divorce process, including matters concerning property division, marital and separate property, and valuation. Contact us 24/7 to learn more about your rights and how our firm can help during a free initial consultation.