For years you and your spouse have invested in property, cars and other items as a team. Now that your marriage is ending, you must determine what portion of the assets is yours and what portion is theirs.
During divorce, your assets and debts will be divided. New Jersey follows an equitable distribution system, which aims to divide assets fairly, but not necessarily 50-50. How does the court decide what to award each spouse?
Factors that influence property division
Each family’s circumstances are unique and impact what the court deems a fair split of assets. To decide what to award each spouse, they may evaluate:
- Each spouse’s education level and earning potential
- Whether either spouse has a physical or mental health concern
- Your accustomed standard of living
- Whether either spouse has substantial separate assets, such as an inheritance
- How long your marriage lasted
- And any other factors the court deems relevant given your situation
If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement, your agreed upon property division plan will be adhered to. You will not have to follow New Jersey’s typical distribution system.
Do you have any other options?
The idea of having a stranger determine how to divide your family’s property can be daunting. If you and your spouse can agree to a settlement, you can negotiate a plan on your own. This allows you to determine an arrangement that works for your family. Each of you can take your individual preferences into account instead of having a binding court decision imposed on you.
You can also employ the assistance of a third-party mediator. A mediator will explain your options and offer solutions without advocating for one spouse or the other.
An experienced divorce lawyer can thoroughly explain all your property division options and help you select the best decision given your family’s circumstances.