As a part of the divorce process, marital property and debts are divided between the two parties. In New Jersey, marital property is divided under a principle called equitable distribution. Under equitable distribution, assets and debts are divided fairly between spouses. However, “fairness” does not always mean that property is split evenly. According to equitable distribution, it can be a variety of percentages depending on what is fair and just to both parties. Those terms are somewhat subjective, and a judge will make a decision based on what he or she believes are important factors. It is important to have an effective legal support ready to make your case and fight for your entitled share of the marital estate. For a consultation with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC.
Marital and exempt property
A court must determine which property applies to the marital estate before it can divide marital property. Simply put, marital property is usually acquired during the marriage. Exempt property is usually acquired before the marriage, with some exceptions, including gifts and inheritances. This topic can be very complicated. In some cases, it is important to conduct a thorough investigation to determine what is marital property and even uncover assets belonging to the couple.
Factors that may impact property distribution
As said above, the court will use its discretion to determine what is fair and just to both parties. There are many factors that can affect the division of marital property:
- The length of the marriage
- The income of each spouse
- The acquisition of the assets
- The age and health of each spouse
- The tax consequences of the division
- The value of the property
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The debts and liabilities of the parties
Some assets, such as a retirement account or a marital home, have fixed monetary values. Dividing these assets is fairly straightforward. However, some marital assets can be more difficult to assess. For example, determining the value of a business often can be complex — particularly when both spouses played a role in the business’ success. Other situations call for the uncovering of hidden assets by a forensic accountant. Whatever the case, having quality legal support to explore all means to a just conclusion is best.
Fault and property distribution
There are numerous factors that can impact a divorce case, especially the division of marital assets. Fault grounds have little to no impact on a divorce since the introduction of no-fault grounds. Simply put, if your spouse cheated on you, the courts do not care and it will not entitle you to more alimony or a greater percentage of the marital estate. However, economic fault is another story. If a party is found to manipulate his or her finances to impact the divorce, waste marital assets on an affair or otherwise, or hid assets in response to a pending divorce, it could play a major factor in the outcome of equitable distribution.
Contact an experienced property distribution attorney located in Brick, New Jersey
There are numerous factors that affect marital property division. It is important to enlist the help of a family law attorney who is both well-versed in the law and knowledgeable about your specific case. Our firm is dedicated to protecting your rights and working closely with you to represent your needs by tailoring our legal services to your specific situation. If you need quality legal support from an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC.