During your marriage, you and your spouse likely acquired many items. Your house, vehicles, and everything you own is marital property. This is also the case for your bank accounts, credit cards, debt, and retirement accounts. Our New Jersey asset division lawyer can walk you through the process.
If you are filing for divorce in New Jersey, all these things, and others, are subject to property division. Unfortunately, this is a contentious part of the divorce process for many New Jersey couples. Questions like who gets to stay in the house and who gets the boat are bound to bring up emotions and anger. Even if your divorce is mostly amicable, it can lead to heated arguments and hurt feelings.
Because the property division process can be difficult and confusing, it is recommended that you have a New Jersey divorce attorney representing your interests. With our help, you can feel confident that you will know what you are entitled to and have an entire legal team helping you get the best possible outcome for your situation.
Along with contacting our office with any questions you have, you can learn more about the property division process here.
Types of Property Subject to Division in a New Jersey Divorce
Several types of property can be divided when going through a divorce. While this is not an exhaustive list, some of the most common types of property that are divided include the following:
- The marital home, vacation home, and investment property
- HELOCs (home equity lines of credit)
- Personal possessions
- Credit card debt
- Profit-sharing plans
- Pension plans and retirement accounts
- Deferred compensation plans
Additionally, any other types of debts or assets you acquired during your marriage will be included in the property division process.
New Jersey Uses Equitable Division for Assets and Liabilities
The state of New Jersey follows equable division laws. This means it is required that the court divides marital property, assets, and debt accumulated during the marriage fairly.
It is important to note that fair does not mean a 50-50 split in every situation.
The New Jersey court system understands that marriage is a partnership. This means that someone who was a stay-at-home parent or homemaker made contributions to the partnership that was just as valuable as the person who worked outside of the home and earned an income.
Equitable distribution is based on several factors that are listed in the New Jersey state code. However, one factor that is not included is fault.
Fault for divorce is not a factor in the equitable division process.
Important Factors That Impact the Division of Property in a Neptune, New Jersey Divorce
When you go through a divorce, the court will consider many factors when determining property division. Some of the factors considered include the following:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age of each spouse
- Emotional or physical health issues of either spouse
- The income brought into the marriage by each spouse
- Property brought into the marriage by either spouse
- Property owned separately by either spouse
- Standard of living experienced during the marriage
- The presence of prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements or other legal contracts regarding the division of property
- Each spouse’s economic situation
- Income potential of each spouse
- Type of work experience, employment skills, and training each spouse has
- How long has each spouse been out of the job market
- Who is responsible for the children each day
- Do children require a trust for medical or educational needs
- If one spouse needs to go back to school or engage in additional training to earn a sufficient income
- Potential tax impacts of the asset or debt distribution
Other relevant factors may be considered, too, depending on your situation. It is important to remember that the court has the final say regarding asset and debt division. Most courts will honor any agreements made between a couple divorcing during arbitration, mediation, or negotiations.
Determining Marital vs. Separate Property
When it is time to divide assets and debts, an important part of the process is knowing what marital property is and what separate property is.
For example, if you have retirement funds, your spouse may be eligible to receive some of these. The same is true when it comes to credit card debt. The law in New Jersey related to marital and separate property is complex; having an attorney help you figure this out is invaluable.
Options for Your Marital Home
For most New Jersey couples, their home is their most valuable asset. Because of this, you must consider how the home’s value will be divided. For example, will one person continue living in the home after the divorce, or will it be sold and the profits split?
Contact our New Jersey legal team before moving out of the marital home. Moving out may impact issues like child custody, visitation rights, child support, spousal support, and more. It is also wise to consider the cost of maintaining two homes. In some cases, you will be responsible for the upkeep and care of your marital home until the divorce is finalized.
Considerations for Hidden Assets
According to New Jersey law, both individuals are required to disclose all assets and liabilities during divorce negotiations. It is important for both individuals to be honest so that all marital assets and liabilities are assessed and divided evenly.
Unfortunately, not all people going through a divorce are honest. If this happens, they may attempt to hide assets to keep them from being part of the divorce decree. If you believe your spouse attempts to hide assets, you have the right to find them. To do this, you will likely need assistance from an experienced New Jersey asset division lawyer. We can review your situation and enlist the help of professionals, if needed, to ensure all assets are accounted for in your divorce.
We will work to uncover hidden assets and protect your rights to marital property through expense tracing, forensic accounting, and lifestyle analysis.
The Complexities of a High-Net-Worth Divorce
If you have a high net worth, then you will likely have a more complex divorce than others. In these situations, there are often complex financial aspects that must be addressed. This includes the division of trust funds, retirement assets, stocks, business assets, and real estate. At Sangiovanni Marchetti you will have a skilled litigation attorney with experience in sophisticated and complex divorce cases.
In these situations, there are often postnuptial and prenuptial agreements that will impact the divorce. However, you may be entitled to some property, even when you signed a legal agreement before marriage. We encourage you to contact our office to learn more about your rights.
Our Neptune, New Jersey Asset Division Lawyer Will Help Protect You, Your Rights, and Your Future
It does not matter what your situation is or the circumstances of your divorce – our legal team can help. We will work to protect your rights and protect your interests throughout the divorce process, including the division of assets.
The first step is to contact our office to schedule an initial consultation. We can evaluate your situation and help create a plan to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.