Debts that are acquired by a couple while married are considered marital property by New Jersey law. Marital property is required to be equitably distributed. This means that the division of property must be fair, though this might not be an equal distribution. Continue reading to discover the factors that are considered when distributing marital debt.
What factors are considered when distributing marital debt?
New Jersey courts will consider the following factors that are described in New Jersey state law N.J.S.A. 2A:34-21.1:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and physical and emotional health of the partners
- The income or property brought into the marriage by each party
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning an arrangement of property distribution
- The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property become effective
- The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background; training; employment skills; work experience; length of absence from the job market; custodial responsibilities for children; and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage
- The contribution by each party to the education, training, or earning power of the other
- The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker
- The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party
- The present value of the property
- The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence and to use or own the household effects
- The debts and liabilities of the parties
- The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse or children
- The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career goals
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant
If you have any concerns or questions regarding equitable distribution of marital debt, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced divorce and family law attorney who can walk you through the process. Our firm would be happy to assist with your upcoming divorce. Give us a call today to schedule our initial consultation.
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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 your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.