Each partner contributes to a marriage in different ways. Whether you’ve grown your assets through career expansion and development, stayed home caring for the family for many years or supported your household in other ways, it can be difficult to quantify how your actions have contributed to your union.
Cohn Lifland Pearlman Hermann & Knopf LLP has been a leader in northern New Jersey for over 90 years. Our attorneys work hard to help everyday people find the solutions they need to some of life’s most challenging problems such as the division of marital assets. We will work diligently to represent your interests throughout your divorce and aggressively protect your assets so you have the resources you need to start the next chapter of your life.
Dividing Resources Equitably Based On Various Contributions
In New Jersey, assets must be divided equitably, but not necessarily 50-50. This means that several factors may be taken in to account to determine the specifics of division of property. Some of these factors may include:
- The duration of the marriage
- The income and assets brought to the marriage by each individual
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The earning capacity of both spouses
- Other contributing factors
Some contributions that are harder to quantify may also be important to consider. For example, if one partner stayed at home to care for the children while the other partner grew a successful business, some of that success could be attributed to the partner who stayed home and allowed the other partner to work long days.
It’s also important to consider that some property will most likely not be divided but remain intact. An inheritance, for example, or a property that was owned by one party before the union, may not be part of the equitable distribution of marital assets. If you have questions about separate versus marital assets and how your business, debt, home or retirement assets will be handled throughout your divorce, call us. The Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP family law group can help you determine what assets and debts are subject to equal distribution and make a plan for the division of assets in your best interests.
Marital 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.
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
Speak With A Skilled Legal Advisor Today
Our property distribution attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can help at any stage of your separation or divorce. Call our office in Saddle Brook today at 201-845-9600 or send us an email to find out how.