Protecting Your Property And Finances During Divorce
The division of property is fundamental to the matter of divorce and is often the most hotly contested issue in New Jersey divorces. Over the course of the divorce proceedings, the litigant-spouses must make a decision on how to divide their marital assets. If the divorcing spouses cannot come to an agreement on how to divide the marital assets, then the New Jersey family court will apply the law and divide the property at issue accordingly.
If you are thinking about getting divorced, it is important to have one of the seasoned New Jersey divorce lawyers at Nitti & Nitti, P.C. protecting your interests. We have successfully handled countless divorces and assisted clients with division of property in Essex County, Morris County and Union County, New Jersey.
Need to discuss your case with the team at Nitti & Nitti, P.C.? Call 973-226-4141 to set up a free consultation.
Protecting Your Rights And Your Property In A New Jersey Divorce
Divorcing spouses should understand that New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, not a community property state. So what does “equitable distribution” mean for the ultimate division of property? In essence, the application of equitable distribution principles means that — in the event of divorce — the marital property may not be divided equally (i.e., total assets divided 50-50 between the two spouses); instead, property will be divided in accordance with principles of fundamental fairness.
The concepts of “equality” and “fairness” are not necessarily the same. Imagine, for example, a divorcing couple of substantially different financial means. One spouse is independently wealthy by virtue of his inherited assets, while the other spouse has no separate assets to speak of. Though a perfect, 50-50 division of marital assets would be “equal,” it would not necessarily be “fair,” considering the financial circumstances of each spouse.
Determining how to divide property so that the division is “fair” is therefore quite complicated, and a favorable outcome depends heavily on the skills of an experienced divorce attorney. Whether your divorce is being litigated in Millburn, Verona, Florham Park or anywhere else in New Jersey, it is imperative that you have a skilled family law and divorce attorney on your side throughout the legal process.
Separate Property In New Jersey Divorce Cases
Not all property is subject to distribution — only marital assets. Separate property is not a shared asset between the married spouses and therefore cannot be distributed to the other spouse pursuant to a divorce judgment. Whether a particular asset will be considered separate property depends on several factors. For example, assets owned before marriage will generally be considered separate, as will assets inherited by an individual spouse.
What Impacts Equitable Distribution?
Splitting up marital property, assets and debts through equitable distribution can be time-consuming and complex. In resolving these issues, the courts in New Jersey will take into account a wide range of factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- Property brought into the marriage
- The age and relative health of each spouse
- Their relative incomes and earning capacities
- Any existing marital contracts
This list extends to include virtually any other factor that the court deems relevant to the case. Moreover, although the New Jersey equitable distribution statute recognizes certain categories of separate property, and any separate property allowed to co-mingle with marital property is in jeopardy of losing its status as separate.
Trust Your New Jersey Divorce Case To Nitti & Nitti, P.C.
At our Livingston, New Jersey, family law firm, we work with accounting experts when necessary to establish the value or source of assets such as investment property, businesses, retirement assets and more. We also have more than three decades of proven experience in this field and are well-versed in the laws surrounding property division in New Jersey. Our Essex County, New Jersey, divorce lawyers are prepared to protect your right to equitable distribution and ensure that your property is split up appropriately.