Separate and Community Property in New Jersey Divorce

divorce lawyer roseland njDivorce is depicted in many different ways across many different outlets. Whether characters in a book, notable couples in the news, or those in a TV sitcom or movie, there always seems to be an argument regarding property. Who gets the house? Who gets the car? Who gets the dog? These are all feasible questions to ask when going through a divorce. This is especially so because different states adhere to different laws.

It is important to be aware of how your state characterizes property when it comes to divorce and what options are available to you during the process. Remember, divorce and separation of property can get quite complex, which is why consulting an experienced divorce attorney could save you a lot of grief. Contact us today to speak with experienced New Jersey divorce attorneys at Nitti & Nitti Attorneys at Law. 

Understanding Property in Essex, Morris and Union County, NJ

The state of New Jersey follows a system of equitable distribution when it comes to divorce and property. This is where the court will divide you and your spouse’s assets in a way that is as fair and reasonable as possible. You can take comfort knowing that property you owned before the marriage, acquired as a gift or as an inheritance, or that was earned after the date of separation, is recognized as separate property. This means it will not be divided between you and your spouse in your divorce. However, marital property will be subject to equitable distribution. This type of property, also known as community property, is typically acquired during the marriage and may not end up split perfectly in two. For example, the higher paid spouse may be the one to keep the house as New Jersey takes into account contributions from each.

Factors of Equitable Distribution in NJ

Deciding exactly how to split marital or community property in New Jersey is an involved process. There are many different variables at work that dictates who gets what property. The following are factors that are considered within the equitable distribution system:

  • Each spouse’s income
  • Duration of marriage
  • Debts or liabilities
  • Standard of living
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Age and health of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s economic circumstances
  • Any written agreements regarding property distribution (a prenup)

The court will factor these variables into the property that needs to be distributed. They will determine the value of the marital property and then calculate an equitable division of it. One of the more important factors already mentioned is the duration of the marriage — the ending of which is marked by the date of separation. This is the date when you and your spouse officially decided your marriage is over, with no intention to remain together as a married couple. Your date of separation will serve as the marker of when your property is no longer characterized as community or marital. The court will typically need physical evidence of this date of separation, which could be you or your spouse moving out of the house.

Again, the complexities of divorce can pile up pretty quickly, especially when property is involved. There will be property you hope to keep but the court may deem otherwise. Taking the time to hire and work with an experienced divorce attorney will put you in the best possible position during your divorce.

Contact a Roseland Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Property Distribution in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Nitti & Nitti Attorneys at Law represent clients throughout the state, including Irvington, Bloomfield, West Orange, Montclair, Belleville, Orange, Livingston, and Nutley. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (973) 226-4141 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 145 Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland, NJ 07068.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.