It is common knowledge that during a divorce, the parties will have to divide up the assets and debts that they acquired during the marriage. Especially where the parties have been married for a substantial length of time, this can be a complicated and difficult task. More likely than not, the parties will have many different types of assets, including such things as the marital residence, savings accounts, and vehicles. Other big assets to be divided could include pensions, vacation homes, or even family businesses. Understanding the nature of your assets is essential to understanding how they are likely to be divided in a divorce. You should make sure to know the liquidity of your marital assets during divorce.
New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state, which means each party will receive an equitable share of the marital property. Equitable does not always mean equal, and there are a list of statutory factors found in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-231 that a court will consider when dividing marital property. Among these factors are considerations such as the contribution each party made to the marital estate, the value of the property, and each spouse’s overall economic circumstances. The overall economic circumstances can be heavily impacted by the liquidity of the assets. For example, a spouse may have a large pension, but If the pension is not vested and therefore is not actually accessible and useable, the asset is illiquid. By contrast, if the parties have a large savings account, that is a liquid asset, as the parties could access it and use it at any time. When dividing the assets, the court is likely to consider the very different nature of the liquid cash in the savings account versus the inaccessible funds in the pension. Moreover, if one spouse is awarded a large amount of assets, but those assets are all illiquid, that spouse may have a stronger argument for spousal maintenance. With liquid assets, a spouse can use those assets to help support him or herself after the divorce. However, with illiquid assets, although the balance sheet may show that the spouse received a valuable asset award, he or she is unable to support him or herself without spousal maintenance because those assets cannot be access and utilized in any meaningful way.
Let us help you understand how property is likely to be divided in a divorce. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your divorce.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.