Dividing Property through Equitable Distribution
In any divorce, the divorcing couple’s jointly-held property needs to be divided among them. A few states take what is known as the community property approach to property distribution, which means that courts divide divorcing couples’ assets among them 50/50. Most states, New Jersey included, take the equitable distribution approach, which does not provide couples with equal shares of their marital assets in a divorce. What it does provide, or at least strive to provide to couples, is equitable shares of their assets. This means that rather than simply cutting a marital estate down the middle, the court gives each spouse a portion of the shared assets according to his or her contribution to the marriage’s net worth and his or her personal needs following the divorce.
Equitable distribution can be complicated and sometimes, the court’s decisions might seem nonsensical. For legal guidance through this process and other parts of your divorce, work with an experienced divorce attorney.
How Will the Court Divide my Marital Assets?
Your marital assets are all the assets you and your spouse acquired during your marriage with the exception of the following:
Assets noted as singly-held property in your prenuptial agreement; and
Assets received by one spouse through inheritance or as gifts.
All other assets acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution during a divorce.
The court tries to make property division determinations that make sense for a couple’s situation. For example, the parent who is named the child’s primary caretaker may be given the house, while the other spouse receives a larger share of the couple’s joint savings as compensation. The court might also find a way for the couple to both come away with a fair share of their marital assets, such as having the couple sell the home and split the profit.
There are a lot of factors that can go into the court’s decisions about dividing your property, such as the length of your marriage and each partner’s income. To get a better understanding of what you can expect from this portion of the divorce process, work with an experienced divorce attorney.
Work with an Experienced New Jersey Divorce Attorney
When you are going through a divorce, you need legal guidance and representation tailored to your specific needs. For an attorney who understands how New Jersey’s divorce courts operate and how the laws will be applicable to your unique case, contact Lansing & Hannum, LLC to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm. We are available to help clients in Ocean, Mercer, Middlesex, Burlington, and Monmouth counties.