PROTECTING WHAT MATTERS MOST
Division of Assets
Division of property, also known as equitable distribution, is the distribution of property and debt obligations used by courts in most states when dividing marital property during divorce proceedings.
During your divorce proceedings, if you and your spouse are unable to mutually agree as to the division and distribution of marital property, the court has authority to divide your marital property. This includes real estate, personal belongings, retirement benefits, and investment accounts. However, in New Jersey, courts do not have authority to divide Social Security benefits.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state as opposed to a community property state. In a community property state all assets would simply be divided in half. In a community property state, judges don’t try to divide assets fairly and don’t consider the age, health, or employment prospects of either party.
In an equitable distribution state, assets are divided in a manner that is deemed fair. The court considers each spouse’s ability to support him or herself after the divorce and whether one spouse has forgone career opportunities to raise children. In an equitable distribution state, the court can give one spouse a greater share of the assets as oppose to splitting everything equally.
Factors For Determining Distribution of Assets
If you and your spouse cannot reach a mutual agreement about property division, uses several factors, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1, to determine what is fair. These factors include, but are not limited to:
the length of the marriage
the spouses’ earning capacities
the age of the spouses
the physical and mental health of the spouses
property brought into the marriage
debts and liabilities
and the contributions of each spouse to the earning power of the other and acquisition of the marital assets