How Does Equitable Distribution Work in the State of New Jersey?

If you are getting divorced, there is a very good chance your assets will fall into litigation, and will, therefore, be subjected to equitable distribution. Simply put, equitable distribution is when courts decide a “fair and just” split of your assets. Rather obviously, this is seldom a 50/50 split, which often leaves spouses feeling dissatisfied with the outcome of their divorce. Please read on and reach out to our experienced New Jersey divorce attorneys to learn more about the equitable distribution process and how we can work to help you achieve a favorable outcome.

What is marital property?

When you get divorced, there are two primary categories of property: marital property and separate property. Marital property consists of assets that you have received and accumulated throughout the duration of your marriage, which oftentimes includes some of the most personal and sensitive issues. Separate property is generally considered property obtained before your marriage, like certain gifts. Unfortunately, while separate property is usually untouched in your divorce, marital property is not, which means you may potentially lose your house in the equitable distribution process, among other things.

What do courts consider when distributing assets in a divorce?

New Jersey courts consider various aspects of your marriage, personal lives, and financial situations when determining who gets what in divorce. For example, courts will consider you and your spouses’ age and health, the value of your property, the financial standard of living established in your marriage, your yearly incomes, the terms of your child custody agreement, and more.

Is there any way to keep certain assets in a divorce?

Fortunately, though the equitable distribution process can be a nightmare for some, with certain preventative measures taken, you may protect a vast amount of your assets from a divorce. For example, before marriage, you may draft a prenuptial agreement with your spouse. Essentially, this is a legally binding agreement that states which assets belong to whom in the event of a divorce. Fortunately, if you do not draft a prenuptial agreement before marriage, you may draft a postnuptial agreement after marriage, which essentially serves the same purpose. If you have not drafted any of these agreements, however, and are now in a contested divorce, you must retain the services of an experienced family law attorney as soon as you can. Our firm is here to help.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.

To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about moving out of your marital home during your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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