Equitable Division and Offsets

Getting a divorce is one of the most difficult decisions you will likely ever face. Even after you have decided to move forward with the divorce or have been served with papers from your spouse, many important decisions still remain. Property division will be an issue in almost every divorce. You and your spouse have worked towards a stable future and accrued assets to shore up that future. If your relationship then falls apart, you will be faced with the issue of how those assets will be divided.

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. This means that a divorce court will make an equitable distribution of marital assets if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement. Equitable does not always mean equal, however. a divorce court will look to a list of factors set out in the New Jersey statutes to decide how to divide the marital property. As a practical matter, however property is divided, it is not practical to physically divide every asset. In addition, for some assets, such as certain investment accounts or investment property, there can be very real financial penalties for dividing an asset equally. In such a case, parties should think about doing an offset. When considering offsets in divorce, the goal is for each party to end up with assets that are approximately equal in value to that awarded to the other party. For example, if the parties have $40,000 in equity in the marital residence and $60,000 in an investment account, the husband could agree to take the house and the wife will take the account. Clearly the wife comes out 20,000 ahead in this deal. Therefore, the wife could agree to pay the husband 10,000 in cash or give him enough other marital assets to make up that difference.

The advantage to doing an offset is that the parties do not have to sell off valuable or cumbersome assets to exactly divide the proceeds. It can also avoid extra paperwork and attorney fees by making sure the parties don’t have to pay for additional title transfers, taxes, or penalties.

If you are facing divorce, contact us today. We have extensive experience helping our clients with these matters.

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us at info@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.

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