Monmouth County Property Division Lawyer
While divorce can be emotionally draining, there can also be financial repercussions based on the decisions you make throughout divorce proceedings. When you face the break-up of your marriage or civil union, you should understand the implications of dividing your marital property and ensure your rights are respected during this process. An experienced divorce attorney can help.
The process of dividing property in a divorce is called equitable distribution. A Monmouth County property division lawyer can explain the laws governing equitable distribution to help someone understand what they are entitled to. A skilled divorce attorney can then work to get you the best possible settlement, so you can start your new life with as few financial concerns as possible.
Defining Marital and Separate Property
Any assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage are typically considered marital property, subject to certain exceptions. Shared property in a marital estate can include:
- Pensions and other retirement assets such as 401(k)s and IRAs
- Art and collections
- Debts such as auto loans, mortgages, and credit card debt
Separate property—including most property acquired by either spouse before the marriage and property acquired during the marriage that is subject to certain exceptions—is not included in the marital estate, so long as it has not been used to make a marital asset more valuable or commingled with marital property. Inherited and gifted property from third parties is typically considered separate property, as is anything acquired after filing for divorce. Personal injury settlements can be marital property or separate property, depending on the specific nature of the final settlement.
Property division is complicated, and the decisions made during this part of divorce have lasting and significant consequences after the divorce. Before entering into any settlement agreement, you should go over a carefully prepared list of all potential assets and liabilities with a Monmouth County property division attorney to determine what assets are part of the marital estate and if any exceptions apply. If there is a chance that one spouse is hiding assets, a skilled divorce attorney can take the appropriate steps to investigate those assets and ensure negotiations are made in good faith.
The Concept of Equitable Distribution
All marital property is subject to division, while separate property remains with the original owner. When spouses have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, courts look to the terms included in these arrangements and distribute property accordingly.
If divorcing parties cannot agree on how to divide marital property through a preexisting agreement, negotiations, or mediation sessions, a judge makes the final decision based on the law governing equitable distribution. While equitable distribution is intended to be a guideline for dividing property fairly, it does not necessarily mean this property will be divided equally.
The judge looks at several factors, including the length of a marriage, to determine what an equitable division of assets and liabilities should be. The judge considers whether one spouse is going to have a more difficult time transitioning to financial independence, typically because they have been taking care of their children or home instead of pursuing a career. When kids are involved, the court may factor in the custodial parent’s ability to support the children. A Monmouth County property division attorney can review the full list of factors a judge uses to determine an equitable division of marital property.
Contact a Monmouth County Property Division Attorney
When you reach the end of your marriage, it can be challenging to take care of your emotional wellbeing while dealing with financial concerns. You want to do everything possible to ensure you get what you are entitled to and can start fresh in the best possible position.
A Monmouth County property division lawyer can advocate on your behalf for a fair settlement or court decision. Call Moskowitz Law Group today to schedule a consultation.