One of the most common areas of conflict in a divorce arises out of property-related issues. In addition to other issues such as spousal support, child custody and visitation, property rights can be some of the most important aspects of a person’s life.
A Middlesex County property division lawyer could provide clarity by explaining how property may be distributed in a divorce and what processes must be followed in order to obtain it. Contact an experienced divorce attorney to begin the asset-division process.Classifying Types of Property
During divorce proceedings, property can be defined as either separate property or marital property. This can be a very important distinction, since separate property will generally be kept out of divorce proceedings.
Separate property is property a person acquired before they were married. It also includes property that was received through an inheritance or as a gift, regardless of whether the couple was married at the time or not.
It is important to note that property does not just mean real estate, but also personal property, some of which may be intangible. If one member of a partnership maintained a private bank account that only they had access to, that would be considered separate personal property in the event of a divorce. Marital property is property that was obtained during the marriage.Can Separate Property Become Marital Property?
There are instances when separate property can be transformed into marital property, which then makes it part of the property division dispute. If separate property and marital property have been commingled—for example, by putting gifted money into a shared bank account—then it can turn into marital property.
If one person has worked on improvements on their partner’s separate property that increased its value, then it can become marital property. If one spouse made significant repairs or improvements to a home that the other person purchased before marriage, that home can be considered marital property.Legal Considerations for Property Division Cases
A Middlesex County property division lawyers know that there are various factors a judge must consider when splitting up property such as:
Additional financial concerns may include anticipation of a child or spouse’s educational or medical needs that will require a trust, the tax impact for each person based on how property is divided, and the financial status of each person when the property is split up.Non-Financial Factors in Asset Division
If one spouse remained at home with a child instead of pursuing their career, the length of time it would take for that person to further their career or get an education that will bring them a similar standard of living as in the marriage may be worthy of consideration.
In the same vein, if one person put their own career or educational opportunities on hold to help the other spouse with their career, or if a parent has physical custody that may require keeping the family home with that parent and child, it may play into the division of property in the event of a divorce.
When evaluating marital property, the value of each item can be based on whether either spouse aided (financially or non-financially) in the dissipation, appreciation, preservation or acquirement of the property. The current monetary value of the property and debts of each person will also be considered in division cases.
The degree to which either spouse contributed to the other person’s education, training or career-related opportunities can be a significant factor in determining who gets what pieces of marital property.Help from a Middlesex County Property Division Lawyer
If you are currently contemplating a divorce, speak with a Middlesex County property division lawyer to understand how property may be split up in your divorce. A lawyer can go over each type of property with you to first determine what is marital property and what is separate property. Once these categories are established, legal counsel can then review your chances at obtaining property from the marriage.