What is Equitable Distribution?

When a couple gets divorced, they are forced to enter the hardest phase of their relationship. Both spouses are emotionally stressed, and this stress is often compounded by the worry surrounding their financial situation. Divorce is rarely simple and easy, especially if you or your spouse are not up for mediation. If you find yourself in this situation, you will most likely enter the litigation process, which can be complex and may sometimes seem unfair. If you are in a contested divorce and are wondering what will happen with your assets, here are some of the questions you may have:

What is considered marital property?

Marital property is defined as the assets you acquired during your marriage. When you are in a contested divorce, the courts will divide your marital assets and property equitably. This means that the courts will decide the “fair and just” way to divvy your assets. However, rather unsurprisingly, many couples do not agree with the court’s final decision. “Equitable” very rarely means “equal,” which is why if you are in a contested divorce, you must hire an experienced attorney who will fight for your right to your assets.

How will courts determine who gets what in a divorce?

Courts will consider several factors when determining how to distribute your assets equitably, including, though not limited to:

  • You and your spouse’s age
  • Your property, as well as income
  • Tax consequences
  • Property settlement agreements
  • Your marital standard of living
  • Whether a spouse contributed to the education, training, or earning power of another spouse
  • The value of your property
  • You and your spouse’s earning potential
  • Debts and liabilities
  • Whether you need a trust to help cover the cost of reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a child
  • Whether you or your spouse deferred career goals for the benefit of your marriage
  • You and your spouse’s health
  • Your respective economic circumstances once your assets are divided
  • The length of your marriage

Can I protect my assets from litigation?

Fortunately, you can. Drafting a prenuptial agreement may protect you and your hard-earned assets in the event of a divorce. In fact, a prenuptial agreement may even protect your inheritance as well. If you are already married, it is not too late–you may still draft a postnuptial agreement, which essentially functions the same as a prenuptial agreement, only it is drafted after your marriage is official. If you and your spouse jointly own a business, you may also draft a shareholder agreement to prevent your business from falling into litigation.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Before taking legal action, it is important to discuss your legal matter with an experienced attorney. Divorce means a significant change in your life, which is why you need an experienced and compassionate attorney who can help make the transition go as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. If you need a knowledgeable attorney, please do not hesitate to contact The Radol Law Firm to discuss any divorce and family law matters you may be faced with.