New Jersey Property Division Lawyer

There are two types of property division calculations. A few states follow a community property model that divides property equally between the spouses. However, most states including New Jersey, follow an equitable distribution model. This means that instead of just splitting marital property in half the court will look at a number of different factors to decide how the property should be divided between the spouses. A New Jersey property division lawyer can advise you on how a court may rule on the types of property involved in your divorce. If you find yourself in the process of dividing combined property, do not hesitate to contact a distinguished divorce attorney

Marital Property vs Separate Property

There are two categories of property, separate property, and marital property. Only marital property will be divided in a divorce. Marital property is property that was acquired during the marriage. This includes a home that was purchased during the marriage or even a car. Furthermore, it can include assets such as a joint bank account.

Separate property is property that was obtained before the marriage. Even after a marriage, there can be separate property such as property that was gifted to one spouse or inherited by one spouse.

You should be cautious because separate property can be turned into marital property if the other spouse contributes to the separate property and increases its value. Also, if separate property is combined with marital property (for example putting an inheritance in a joint account) then it may be considered marital property. An experienced property division attorney can advise you in regards to these complications.

Equitable Distribution Factors

To divide property between spouses, the court will look at several factors to decide how to fairly separate the property. The factors include:

  • The standard of living during the marriage.
  • Any marital agreements between the spouses, whether it was a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The amount of property or income each person brought into the marriage.
  • Any contribution by either party to the training, education or earning potential of the other spouse.
  • The income and earning potential of each person, including their education, work experience, training and employment skills.

How long one person has been out of the workforce due to childcare responsibilities and how long it will take the person to obtain an education or training that will get them to the same standard of living as in the marriage.

Valuing Education

The court will also look at how much one spouse put aside their own education or career in order to help the other person to achieve a greater income.

Several other factors include:

  • The emotional and physical health of each spouse as well as their ages.
  • If there is a need to create a trust fund, now or in the future, for a child or spouse for foreseeable medical or educational costs.
  • Any tax consequences to each spouse depending on the distribution of the property.
  • The economic situation of each person at the time the property will be divided.
  • How each person contributed to the acquiring, preservation, appreciation or dissipation in the value of the property which includes contributions as a homemaker.
  • The present value of the property and any debts and liabilities the spouses have.
  • If one parent has physical custody of the child and needs to keep the marital residence in order to have a home for the child.

If there are any other factors that the court considers important the judge can take that into account as well.

Speaking with a Lawyer

There are so many factors in play when dividing up property that it can be a very complicated process. By hiring a New Jersey property division lawyer, you can try to make sure that you get your fair share of marital property and protect any separate property you have.