There are many matters that a couple must take care of when they are going through divorce proceedings. One of the most important matters in handling a divorce is deciding how to split a couple’s assets amongst the two of them. In some cases, a couple is able to come to an agreement by themselves outside of a trial. Other times, the spouses may both believe they are entitled to more than the other, causing them to argue over their assets. In this case, the couple may have to go to court in order to find common ground and settle their disagreement. An experienced attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey can help guide you through your divorce proceedings.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
When a couple disagrees and goes to court in order to split their assets, a judge will be in charge of deciding how they are divided. This decision is made based upon which assets are considered to be marital property and which are separate property. The differences between the two are as follows:
- Marital Property: Any assets and debts acquired during the marriage. This also includes any properties acquired before the marriage that was agreed upon as marital property at the start of the relationship.
- Separate Property: Any assets and debts acquired before the marriage and agreed to stay as separate property. This may include other properties, gifts, and inheritance.
New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state. Many people believe that when a couple divorces, their assets are split equally amongst the two spouses. However, this is not always the case. When a court equitably distributes assets, they are doing so in a fair and just way, which may not always be equal. In order to come to a decision of what is fair, a judge may consider several factors outside of properties. Some of these factors may include:
- The age and health of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- Economic circumstances
- Each spouse’s contribution to marital property
- Any tax consequence that may apply
Courts typically do not look into marital fault when distributing assets equitably. When they are coming to a decision, they do not usually consider if one spouse is the reason the marriage ended. Instead, state courts may consider if there is an economic fault. If one spouse handles their assets irresponsibly, a court may distribute in favor of the other spouse.
Mediation is often used to help divorcing couples come to agreements. The process gives a couple the chance to divide their assets amongst themselves outside of a courtroom. During mediation, a third party helps the spouses negotiate certain marital issues and come to an agreement. This process can save both the couple and the court from costly spending.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to speak with an attorney about your division of assets, contact the Law Office of Sabrina Gianna, LLC. today.
Matters of divorce and family law require the attention and skill of an experienced attorney who will fight for your future. If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.