Going through a divorce is a very complex and trying process. There are several legal matters that must be taken care of before a couple may dissolve their marriage. One of the most important parts during a divorce is the division of assets between both spouses in the relationship. In some cases, spouses are able to come to terms of separation between themselves without the assistance of the court. Other times, the spouses may disagree about which assets belong to whom. When this happens, the couple may need to go to court in order to settle their disputes over assets. An experienced attorney in Bergen County, New Jersey can guide you through your divorce proceedings.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
If a couple wants the assistance of the court in dividing their assets, a judge will come to conclusions for them. The judge will make all decisions regarding the division of assets for the couple. In order to do this, the judge must decipher which assets are marital property and which are considered separate property. The differences between the two are:
- Marital Property: Any assets and debts that were acquired during the marriage. This could also include any properties from before the marriage that were converted into marital property.
- Separate Property: Any assets and debts that were acquired before the marriage and agreed to stay as separate property. This may include other properties, gifts, and inheritance.
The distinctions between these two properties may factor into what assets are given to a couple during a divorce.
While many people believe that property is distributed 50/50, this is rarely the case. The state of New Jersey follows the guidelines of “equitable distribution.” This means that a judge will divide assets fairly between the two spouses. In order for a judge to do this, they base their decisions on several different factors in the marriage. This may include:
- The age and health of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- Economic circumstances
- Each spouse’s contribution to marital property
- Any tax consequence that may apply
Usually, judges do not consider marital fault while deciding how to divide assets amongst two spouses. While they do not consider if one spouse is at fault for the end of the marriage, they may look into if there was an economic fault. If a spouse handles their assets corruptly, the judge may sway in the favor of the other spouse.
Couples often wish to settle their marital disputes outside of a courtroom. If it is possible for a couple to come to an agreement amongst themselves, they may wish to seek the assistance of a mediated divorce. Meditation allows two spouses to negotiate the issues at hand and come to an amicable agreement with the assistance of an unbiased third party. The third party will listen to the concerns of both spouses and help find a situation that works best for them. This gives couples the opportunity to work on the terms of their separation without the help of the court.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to speak with an attorney about your division of assets, contact The Radol Law Firm today.
Before taking any sort of legal action, it is important to discuss your legal matter with an experienced attorney. Contact The Radol Law Firm to discuss any divorce and family law matters you may be faced with.