Division of Assets & Debts
The division of assets and debts can be a tricky and messy part of the divorce process. You may have significant assets that you don’t want to lose, or your spouse may have incurred debt that you don’t want to be held responsible for. At Himelman and Himelman, our attorneys can help you navigate this usually highly contested part of the divorce process.
New Jersey state law follows what is called an “equitable distribution” model in the event that both parties are unable to agree on the division of property. What this means is that the property dispute is submitted to the court and the marital assets will be divided equitably – this does not necessarily mean “equally” but very often there will be an equal distribution. All assets obtained and debts incurred during the marriage are considered marital property or marital debt and therefore subject to equal distribution unless it can be proven that it is owned or owed solely by one of the parties.
What Factors Determine the Division of Assets in NJ?
When deciding on the division of assets and debts following a divorce, a judge will look at several key factors. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- How long the marriage lasted.
- The physical and emotional health and age of each spouse.
- The couple’s standard of living and economic circumstances during the marriage.
- Any prenuptial agreements made by the couple regarding the division of property.
- The income and earning potential of each spouse, with consideration to how the marriage affected, or didn’t affect, their career goals or employment opportunities.
- The contributions of each spouse to the household during the marriage.
- The current value of the property and estimated tax effects on the distribution.
- In some circumstances, the actions of the spouses that led to the divorce, i.e. wasting or misusing property.
- The financial, medical, and educational needs of the couple’s children.
Deciding how your assets and liabilities will be divided at the time of divorce can be a complicated and stressful process, and it is important to consult an experienced NJ divorce lawyer who will make sure your rights are protected. Contact Himelman & Himelman today to discuss your options.