Property Division: Family Law Attorney Can Help


Equitable Distribution rules work in New Jersey during martial property settlement. Read on to find out how a divorce attorney can help.

New Jersey is an Equitable Distribution State for the purposes of divorce. In such states, divisions do not have to equal (50:50) split. However, it must seem equitable and fair in the eyes of the court. For this purpose, several factors are taken into consideration, such as financial position, standard of living and health status of each spouse, to name a few.

Asset division can become difficult; where significant holdings such as rental property, houses, stock options, restricted stock, pension and retirement plans, professional practices and licenses are involved. It can be a challenge even under amenable situations and, for a contentious case, it can get complicated. A divorce attorney will be able to help you in such situations.

What Can Be Divided?

Asset division during a divorce refers only to marital property. The best way to start is by taking an inventory of what assets the couple acquired during the period of their marriage. So, anything inherited by a particular spouse, or assets acquired before marriage cannot be considered as marital property. When you hire a divorce attorney, it is important to be honest with regards to all your holdings. He or she will be able to help you understand how assets get divided. Consider sitting with your spouse and make a straightforward list of items.

Tips for Asset Division

In the United States, over 90% of the divorces are settled without a court trial. A settlement is achieved using property division agreements. While some amount of negotiation might be required before a final agreement, your divorce attorney will help you with property division. Here are a few tips for a smooth process.

Do Not Hide Assets: You have a fiduciary duty towards your spouse until the day of divorce. So, when you hide assets, you are at risk of being penalized (legal consequences) later. Reveal any cash stashed away, since it is also considered as a marital asset. The same goes for land, property, stocks, jewelry, household assets and other investments.

Make Compromises: You cannot both have the same things, so it is better not to fight over small things. While you both might like a particular painting that hangs in your living room, let it go if you cannot come to an agreement. Do not let your emotions get the better of you. Your divorce attorney will ensure that you have an equitable final tally.

The Tricky Assets: Some assets are difficult to divide. Take retirement plans for instance. To whom do the benefits go? In such cases, you must talk to your attorney. He or she will be able to come up with viable solutions. For instance, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order can be procured for such plans.