A Fair Division
New Jersey uses the principle of equitable distribution when dividing marital property in a divorce. Equitable distribution means the property must be divided fairly between the two spouses. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is divided equally but that the division reflects what is fair and reasonable upon consideration. If you and your spouse cannot agree on your division of marital property, a judge will decide. In New Jersey, the judge will consider several factors when deciding how to divide marital property, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The health, both physical and emotional, of both spouses
- The financial standing of each spouse prior to the marriage
- The couple’s current financial standing
- Any written agreement between the spouses on the matter of property division
- The need of the custodial parent to use the family home while raising the child, and
- Expected future medical and educational costs of both parent and child
Looking at Additional Factors
These are just the required minimum considerations. The judge may consider any other relevant factors, such as the need to divide any jointly-held debts. In most cases, separate property acquired prior to the marriage and gifts and inheritances left to one spouse during the marriage are not included in the marital property division. But because separate property can affect the financial standing of each spouse, it can affect how the marital property is divided.
Ensuring a Fair Division
Dividing property is a complex part of divorce and one that couples rarely agree upon. Because the judge will consider so many factors, it is hard to predict the outcome of a property division. An experienced New Jersey matrimonial attorney can give you a good idea of the factors that will influence your own property division. An attorney can also help you takes steps to ensure the judge’s decision on the division of your property and debts is fair. For example, you may need to demonstrate that certain pieces of property are your separate property so they are not included in the division. Or, you may need to make sure you get the family home to raise your child. You may not necessarily get the outcome you want if you do not have a skilled legal advocate working on your behalf.
Do you have questions about property division? Williams Law Group, LLC can help you make sure the judge divides your marital property fairly. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.