Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally trying process, especially regarding the division of assets and debts. The process of dividing marital property is known as equitable distribution in New Jersey. This means that the court strives to divide the assets and debts of the marriage in a fair and just manner, taking into account the circumstances of the case and the needs of each spouse.
What is considered marital property in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey law, marital property is defined as any assets or debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage, with the exception of gifts and inheritances received by one spouse alone. This includes assets such as the marital home, retirement accounts, and investments, as well as debts such as mortgages, credit card balances, and loans.
The court will consider both the financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage, as well as the length of the marriage, the marital lifestyle, the age and health of each spouse, and any other relevant factors when determining equitable distribution in New Jersey
Equitable Distribution in New Jersey
The first step in the process of equitable distribution in New Jersey is to identify all of the property and debts accumulated during the marriage. This includes valuating the assets and determining their current worth. The court will then consider the following factors in determining how to divide the property:
- The income and earning capacity of each spouse
- The age and physical and emotional health of each spouse
- The present and future needs of each spouse
- The tax consequences of the distribution
- Any prior agreements or arrangements between the spouses, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
Based on these factors, the court will determine an equitable distribution of the marital property. This does not necessarily mean an equal division, as the court may consider other factors, such as the relative earning power and future prospects of each spouse.
What about separate property?
In addition to marital property, each spouse may also have separate property, which is defined as any assets or debts acquired by one spouse before the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. Separate property is not subject to equitable distribution in New Jersey and remains the property of the individual spouse.
However, it is important to note that separate property can become marital property if it is commingled with marital assets or if it is used to benefit the marriage in some way. For example, if a spouse uses their separate inheritance to make improvements to the marital home, that separate property may be considered marital property.
The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill Can Help With Your Equitable Distribution in New Jersey
If you are considering divorce in the state of New Jersey, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your rights. The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill has helped countless individuals navigate the complexities of divorce and equitable distribution in New Jersey.
With a strong background in family law and a commitment to personalized representation, Attorney Jennifer J. McCaskill and her team can provide the legal guidance and support you need during this difficult time. They can help you understand your rights and options, negotiate a fair settlement, and fight for your interests in court if necessary.
Don’t face the challenges of divorce alone. Contact The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill today to schedule a consultation and learn how they can help you through this process.