Middlesex County Property Division Lawyer
When a couple decides to divorce, one of the major challenges that they will face during the ensuing legal proceedings is determining how to fairly distribute their shared assets. Property division is a complex and often heated part of a divorce, and it is not advisable to undergo this process without skilled legal representation at your side. If you are looking to dissolve your marriage and are unsure of how to begin to split up your assets, get in touch with a Middlesex County property division lawyer who can provide valuable advice throughout this process.
Types of Property Divided in a Divorce
There are two main types of property that may be evaluated during the asset distribution component of a divorce: marital and separate. Marital property is property that was acquired during the marriage. The length of the marriage is usually considered to last from the date of the wedding until the date that one spouse filed for divorce, and anything acquired during that time would usually be considered marital property.
Separate property usually includes any asset that is premarital, or acquired before the marriage. Additionally, any inherited property, even if it was inherited during the marriage, is considered separate. For example, if one spouse enters the marriage with a piece of real estate or a retirement account that has been kept separate, those assets would be considered exempt from equitable distribution.
Distinguishing Separate Property
Since separate property is either premarital, inherited, or specifically gifted to one spouse, the best way to ensure that it remains separate is to not commingle it. For example, if it is a piece of real estate, the owner would not put their spouse’s name on the deed or mortgage, and they would not use marital funds to increase the value of that property. Even if an asset is separate at the beginning of the marriage, if joint funds go into it, the other spouse may be entitled to a portion of it in the divorce.
It is always the burden of the person who is claiming a piece of separate property to prove that it is actually separate. This can be difficult to prove in some cases, which is why the assistance of a Middlesex County divorce attorney can be especially helpful in this part of the property division process.
Equitable Distribution Process
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. This means that during the property division process, the court takes a number of factors into account when making their decision. The distribution of a couple’s assets will not necessarily be 50-50 but will rather be divided equitably between the spouses.
Some of the factors that the court will consider when determining the division of a couple’s property include:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age of the parties and their health
- The income or property brought into the marriage by each party
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The need for one party to remain in the marital home
- The debts and liabilities of both parties
- Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning a property distribution arrangement
The court will also consider the income and earning capacity of each party, as well as their educational background and employment skills. Another factor would be the tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party. An experienced property division attorney in Middlesex County can further explain the impact of these factors and determine how they may apply in a specific case.
Reach Out to a Middlesex County Property Division Attorney Right Away
If you are struggling with the idea of dividing your assets with your former partner and want to ensure that you receive a fair portion of your property, you should seek the help of a Middlesex County property division lawyer. A seasoned attorney can work diligently to safeguard your rights throughout this process and help you reach a satisfying agreement. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.