If you are seeking a divorce in New Jersey, you may wonder how you and your former spouse will divide up all of your assets and property. Under New Jersey law, courts will make an equitable distribution of property in the event that the divorcing parties are unable to propose an equitable property distribution themselves.
Since the term “equitable distribution” is fairly broad, there are factors laid out in N.J.S.A. 2A: 34-23.1 which provide guidance as to exactly what things the court will consider in making an equitable distribution of property. Specifically, there are sixteen factors which go into an equitable distribution analysis, and they include information about the parties themselves as well as their assets.
Some factors that pertain directly to the parties themselves include how long they have been married, each party’s age, their physical and mental health, their education and work experience, the level of their employability, their respective earning capacity, and the contributions that each of them has made to the family by participating in the work of raising children and/or supporting their spouse in pursuing educational or career opportunities. Marriage involves a dividing up of responsibilities, and some of the responsibilities of family life are not measured by economic means such as income. The factors that the court considers regarding the parties and their roles during the marriage help the court to create a property division that recognizes all of the contributions that each party has made.
Information about the parties’ lifestyle is also relevant, including the standard of living that they established during their marriage, whether they had a prenuptial agreement, the economic situation of each spouse at the time that the division of property would become effective, and whether the parent who will have physical custody of the children needs to remain in the marital home.
As far as the assets of the parties are concerned, the court will look at what income or property each spouse brought into the marriage, any contribution that each party made to the increase or decrease in the amount or value of the marital property, the value of the property, any debts that are owed by the parties, and the tax consequences which would accompany any property division scenario.
If you need help in evaluating a property distribution that your soon-to-be former spouse has proposed, or if you have questions about property division in New Jersey divorces, please call Girolaw today at (201) 690-1642 to arrange a free consultation with a New Jersey divorce attorney.