Dividing assets is a standard component of divorce, and the more assets you have, the greater the possibility of a complex process.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means asset division is fair but not always equal.
Marital vs separate property
The first thing the court will do is determine whether assets are marital or separate property. Marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage, including debts. Any assets acquired before marriage is separate property. However, there are exceptions. For example, if one spouse received an inheritance during the marriage, it may still be separate property.
Questions to consider about the division of property
Every situation has unique circumstances, which is why the court makes considerations on a case-by-case basis. For example, the judge may ask about the ages of both spouses and their mental and physical health statuses. They also account for contributions to income during the marriage and how long it would take the lower-earning spouse to get a degree. Some other questions to consider about the marriage include:
- What are the earning capabilities of each spouse?
- How long was the marriage?
- What is the financial status of each spouse post-separation?
- Did either spouse purchase property prior to the marriage?
- If one spouse stayed at home with children, how long were they off the job market?
- Do the children have substantial educational or medical needs?
The best case scenario would be for both spouses to agree on asset division and put it in writing. The court would then just ensure the agreement was compliant with state laws and approve it.