Divorces can be messy, especially when it comes to the couple’s finances. Indeed, disentangling your finances from your former spouse’s can become incredibly complicated, particularly in light of state laws, beneficiaries and dividing assets. If you find yourself needing to divide your money during your New Jersey divorce, you need to cover your bases and recover your assets. For more information on this subject, please continue reading, then contact an attorney experienced in planning and preparing financially for divorce today.
How can you divide money during a divorce in New Jersey?
First and foremost, you must understand how the Garden State views property ownership in a marriage. Because New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, it has very specific rules governing the division of assets. In particular, it divides all assets in terms of community property and separate property.
Community property includes any possessions gained during the marriage. In plain terms, both spouses equally own marital assets acquired during the marriage, including:
- Property purchased
- Income earned
- Debts accrued
On the other hand, separate property allows a spouse to remain in control of their original assets. For example, if one spouse owned property before the marriage or bought assets with an inheritance, he or she may keep ownership of those items.
What assets do you have to divide in a divorce in New Jersey?
Before the spouses can begin the process of dividing marital assets, they must make a comprehensive list of all the assets they have, including:
- Bank accounts: This includes both separately- and jointly-owned bank accounts. If the spouses remain friendly, they should visit the bank together and close the accounts. If the spouses are not on sufficiently cordial terms to close bank accounts together, they may have to wait until they reach a divorce settlement.
- Credit cards and loans: The spouses should each obtain a copy of their credit report to help identify all the credit cards and loans attached to both spouses. In particular, determine whether the spouses are joint owners or just authorized users. While the spouses have three options regarding joint credit card and loan accounts, they should settle the accounts immediately and close them.
- Investment and retirement accounts: Have a professional evaluate your investments and retirement funds and determine whether it is in your best interests to liquidate the accounts.
- The couple’s home: If the spouses co-own a home, banks will not allow them to remove one from the mortgage just because of a divorce. The spouses must refinance in order to get the home in only one spouse’s name.
Speak with one of our skilled Bergen County divorce attorneys if you have any further questions.
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