You’ve probably spent your entire adult life working hard to earn the assets that you currently have. It can be an upsetting thought that you could lose a large portion of your home equity, retirement accounts, investments and other assets in your divorce. What kinds of things do New Jersey courts take into account when dividing a divorcing couple’s marital assets?
What the court will divide
When you get to the property division portion of your divorce, the court will only divide up your marital property between you – you will each get to keep your separate property. New Jersey law outlines what counts as marital property and what counts as separate property.
According to the law, anything you had before you got married is your separate property, while most things you obtained during your marriage are marital property. However, if you received a gift or inheritance, even during your marriage, that will usually fall into the category of separate property.
The court will divide your marital debt in the same way that they divide your assets.
How the court will divide it
New Jersey courts do not divide marital assets and debt up exactly 50-50 like some other states do. Instead, they will make a fair division of marital assets after taking into account several factors.
For example, they will evaluate your health, age, education level and employment prospects, as well as those of your spouse. They will also look at how much you each contributed to the marriage in terms of earning money or taking care of household needs. Then, they will decide how to divvy up your assets and debts in the way that is most fair to both of you.
Asset division can be a stressful and contentious phase of the divorce process, especially if you are the one that receives the smaller portion of your marital estate. Knowing the protocol that New Jersey divorce courts follow when dividing up property can help you to prepare, so that you can get through the process as smoothly as possible.