A couple choosing to divorce has several things to consider and take care of before the process is over. An important matter for a couple to handle during a divorce is dividing their assets between the two of them. Sometimes, a couple can come to an agreement on how to split these assets by themselves outside of a courtroom. Other times, one spouse may feel they deserve more than the other and result in an argument, making it difficult to find common ground. In cases such as this, a couple may have to go to court in order to settle their disagreement. An experienced attorney in Sussex County can help guide you through your divorce proceedings.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
When a couple uses the court to divide their assets, a judge may be in charge of deciding how their assets are split. These decisions are made based upon what is considered to be marital property and separate property. The differences between the two are:
- Marital Property: This covers any assets and debts acquired during the marriage by both spouses. It also includes any properties acquired before the marriage that was then agreed upon as marital property.
- Separate Property: This covers any assets and debts acquired before the marriage and agreed to stay as separate property. This may include other properties, gifts, and inheritance.
New Jersey is what is known as an “equitable distribution” state. Many people believe that assets are distributed equally among spouses during a divorce. However, this is not always the case. Equitable distribution is the splitting of a couple’s assets in a fair and just way. In order to divide property fairly, New Jersey courts consider several factors outside of marital or separate property in order to come to a proper conclusion. Some factors may include:
- The age and health of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- Economic circumstances
- Each spouse’s contribution to marital property
- Any tax consequence that may apply
When courts distribute assets equitably, they typically do not look into marital fault. This means that when they are deciding what is fair, they will not consider if one spouse is the reason for the marriage ending. Instead, state courts may consider if there is an economic fault. If one spouse irresponsibly handles their assets, a court may sway in the favor of the other spouse.
Mediation is often used to assist divorcing couples. It allows a couple the chance to work on dividing their assets outside of a courtroom. During mediation, a third party helps both spouses negotiate the matter at hand and come to an agreement. This method can save the couple and the court from spending unnecessary money.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to speak with an attorney about your division of assets, contact Paris P. Eliades Law Firm LLC. today.
Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. Contact our firm for a consultation today.