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. That being said, rather obviously, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, while exempt, or separate property, is not. If you believe your hard-earned assets may be at stake, please do not hesitate to speak with the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today. We are here to help you through every step of the equitable distribution process to ensure your assets are protected.
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
- The need to create a trust to secure educational or medical finances for a child or spouse
- The amount that each party contributed to the marriage, either financially or otherwise
- Any written agreement established by both parties prior to or during the marriage regarding equitable distribution in the event of a divorce, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
Some assets, such as a retirement account or a marital house, 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. Attorney Sarina Gianna has been helping individuals secure their assets from the equitable distribution process for over 15 years, and she is ready to do the same for you. Reach out to our experienced New Jersey equitable distribution attorney today to learn more about how she can assist you with your legal matter.
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, generally speaking, do not care, and it will not entitle you to more alimony or a greater percentage of the marital estate. That being said, 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. If you believe your spouse has incorrectly or dishonestly disclosed his or her assets, you must retain the services of a knowledgeable divorce attorney as soon as possible.
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, you know where to turn–contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC to discuss your legal options.