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Two wedding bands on a white background; one is gold and the other is silver with a spousal support band in the middle.

How does equitable distribution work?

After couples file for divorce, there are many decisions that must be made. Filing for divorce may be one of the hardest decisions, but the decisions that still need to be decided on can be difficult as well. During this time, couples are experiencing enough emotional distress with the breakdown of their marriage. They must also start thinking about more practical decisions, such as their assets. While some couples may be able to divide their assets in mediation, it can be hard for others to reach an agreed upon decision for both parties. Due to this, the court can become involved. When the court is involved, they practice equitable distribution.

Equitable distribution is a concept that courts use when dividing marital assets between spouses in divorce cases. The state of New Jersey continues to practice equitable distribution for these situations. This means that the judge will assess factors to divide the assets in a fair and just manner, but this does not mean the distribution will be equal for each spouse. The possessions will not be split into two and handed to each spouse equally. Instead, the judge will assess factors, such as each party’s contribution to the marital property, their health, their age, tax consequences and economic status associated with each party. After considering these factors, the judge will make their decision, which can be vastly different for each individual case that they are given to decide on.

How are marital property and separate property organized?

Before dividing assets between spouses, the court will determine the difference between marital assets and separate assets. Marital property is considered to be assets that are acquired during the marriage between the two spouses. They may decide to buy a house together based on their marriage to one another. This would be considered a marital property. These assets are left to the decision of the court in how they are divided between the two parties. In comparison, separate property is something that was not a part of the marriage. This may include a spouse’s inheritance or any personal gifts. The assets that are brought into the marriage by one individual spouse are not up for the division of assets.

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.