Marital Property | Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP
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Marital Property

lawyer-meeting-sit-down-1.jpgMarital vs. Separate Property

If you are contemplating divorce in New Jersey, you should learn how your property will be divided. New Jersey considers the assets and debts a married couple acquires during marriage to be "marital property," regardless of how the property is titled. For example, if one spouse purchases a vehicle during the marriage with their paycheck and titles it in their name alone, the vehicle is still marital property. Equitable distribution rules in New Jersey require a fair, but not necessarily equal, division of all marital property in a divorce.

When you divorce in the State of New Jersey, it is helpful to have an attorney explain which assets are considered "marital" property and thus subject to property division. Not every asset is subject to distribution and some assets are considered to be "separate" property which will not be equitably divided. In some situations, even assets that were acquired during the course of your marriage can be exempt from distribution. This is particularly so if the parties have entered into a Premarital Agreement, which is governed by law. There are special rules regarding inherited assets as they not subject to equitable distribution unless gifted as an interspousal transfer.


Some people mistakenly believe that if their name is the only name listed on an asset, the other spouse has no right to it. However, if the asset was acquired during the marriage and not subject to certain statutory or legal exceptions, then it may be a marital asset.

Marital shares

Sometimes there are both marital and premarital interests of certain assets such as retirement accounts. For example, a spouse would have an interest in the increase in the value of a retirement account that had accrued during the marriage even if the account had been started prior to the marriage.

It is important to become knowledgeable about what assets will be considered separate and marital for planning purposes. You should have a New Jersey divorce attorney evaluate your situation to determine your legal options. Proper evaluation of marital property vs. separate property is a good way to protect your assets and rights during a New Jersey divorce, including consideration of any Premarital Agreement

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