Morris County Property Division Lawyer
The division of marital property acquired during a marriage is a common and often contentious part of the divorce process since this property can range from objects of small value to high-value real estate and large bank accounts. If a couple cannot decide on who gets what either on their own or through mediation, a court may have to intervene and do it for them.
If you are looking to get a divorce but are concerned about protecting your assets, contact a Morris County division of property lawyer for legal help. The process of equitably dividing up marital property in New Jersey can be a complex undertaking with many potential pitfalls, but hiring a qualified family attorney could ensure that you finish your divorce proceedings with the property that is rightfully yours.
Marital Versus Separate Property
There is an important distinction between marital property and separate property. The difference is particularly important during a divorce, as only marital property can be divided and allocated to the parties as the divorce is being finalized.
All assets and debts acquired during the course of a marriage can be considered marital property. Even property acquired during the marriage with only a single spouse’s name on it, such as a deed to a home, would likely be deemed marital property for subsequent property division purposes. However, inheritances do not qualify as marital property, nor do gifts to a spouse from a third party.
Separate property is anything of value acquired by a spouse prior to the marriage or after a petition for divorce is formally filed. Under some circumstances, separate property can become marital property during the course of a marriage, like when an inheritance is added to a joint bank account. If there are questions about whether property qualifies as marital or separate, an experienced Morris County property division attorney could help answer them.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
New Jersey follows an equitable distribution model when dividing marital property. Instead of splitting property down the middle, a court will look at several different factors to divide marital property in the most equitable manner possible. Some factors a judge might consider include:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living of the couple during the marriage
- The future earning potential of each divorcing spouse
- The terms of a prenuptial agreement, if any
- The need for one spouse to remain in the marital home and provide shelter for one or more children
- The age and health of the divorcing spouses
Although a divorce can be an emotionally painful process with great animosity, a court will not generally look at the underlying causes of the marital breakdown when dividing property. Fault in the divorce plays no role in equitable property division, as a division of assets lawyer in Morris County could advise.
Schedule a Consultation with a Morris County Property Division Attorney
The division of marital property while undergoing a divorce can potentially be an exhaustive undertaking with significant long-term consequences. If these issues are not dealt with decisively, they may lead to conflict after the divorce. It may be wise to seek legal guidance from a Morris County property division lawyer who could help you navigate this important aspect of the divorce process a little easier. Call today to schedule a consultation for your case.