Marital vs Separate Property: Equitable Distribution Factors

Morris County NJ Property Division Divorce Attorneys Protect Your Assets

New Jersey follows the equitable distribution model, with all its nuances. This is another reason to have a skilled divorce attorney on your team to represent your best interests in the division of property by the court.

Morris County NJ Property Division Divorce Attorneys Protect Your AssetsWhen going through a divorce, numerous aspects must be considered into separate lives that were once legally joined in coupleship. To ensure that you receive your fair share of the marital assets you and your ex acquired during the course of your marriage, it is important to have the support of an experienced divorce attorney. This not only ensures that you will be educated in how the New Jersey Superior Court assesses assets, including property, to distribute them fairly; but it also ensures you’ll be able to rest assured that you have someone in your corner working tirelessly on your behalf so that you can focus the attention of your mental, emotional, and financial health, and orient yourself solidly toward your new future.

New Jersey courts follow an Equitable Distribution Model

While some states follow a community property model, in which property is divided equally between spouses in the absence of further considerations, most states, including New Jersey, follow an equitable distribution model. The equitable distribution of assets model involves the court reviewing various factors associated with a divorcing couple and determining what a fair distribution of property would be, based on those factors. Because New Jersey follows the equitable distribution model, with all its nuances, this is another reason to have a skilled divorce attorney on your team to represent your best interests in the division of property by the court.

What are the types of property?

A divorce court handles the separation of properties that were jointly owned by the couple. This is called marital property. Marital property is property that the couple obtained during the course of their legal marriage. This includes a wide range of assets, including land or a home that the couple buys during their marriage, cars, or the savings in a joint bank account.

What are the types of property?A divorce court does not handle what is called separate property. Separate property is the property of one partner before the marriage, or property obtained by one partner during the marriage, say by inheritance or gift.

While there appears to be a solid line between marital property and separate property, the lines can get blurry in some cases. So you’ll want to be careful that you are able to protect your personal or separate property from being considered marital property. What are some cases in which separate property is considered marital property? Well, if there has been any joint effort or investment on the part of the couple to amend a separate asset, the line between separate and marital begins to fade. For example, if you own a home before you get married, but you use a joint account to renovate it, the home could be considered a marital asset. Or, if a separate property like money is placed into a joint account, there could be an argument for its now becoming a marital asset.

Ensure that you consult with a divorce attorney on all aspects of your assets to ensure that your property is protected.

How does a court decide how to equally distribute marital property?

There are several factors that a court will take into consideration to decide how marital property is to be fairly distributed. They include:

  • terms outlined in any legal marital agreements, including a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
  • how long the spouses were legally married
  • how much material property each partner brought into the marriage
  • what the standard of living of the marriage was
  • the emotional and physical health of each partner
  • the financial contributions that each partner made to the marriage, as well as each partner’s current income and their earning potential
  • Contact our Madison, NJ Family Law and Divorce Attorneys for a Virtual Consultation Todaywhether one partner forewent their professional or educational advancement to support the upward mobility of the other partner
  • whether one partner financially contributed to the professional or educational advancement of the other spouse, and how much
  • whether there will be a need to set up a trust for the educational costs of a child in the future or the foreseeable medical costs of a child or one of the spouses
  • whether one partner has been largely responsible for childcare responsibilities, impacting their capacity to join the workforce; and the length of time it will take that person to prepare themselves educationally to arrive at the marriage’s standard of living

Contact our Madison, NJ Family Law and Divorce Attorneys for a Virtual Consultation Today

At Jacobs Berger, LLC, our team of divorce attorneys is experienced in supporting our clients across Randolph, Madison, Tewksbury, Florham Park, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area in navigating all division of marital property.

Our unique approach focuses on representing our client’s best interests so they can focus on their emotional and mental health and future.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our team today regarding your divorce, please contact us online or call our Morristown, NJ office by dialing (973) 710-4366 today.

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