You may need to address several divorce-related issues during your divorce, including child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. If you are about to get a divorce in New Jersey, you need to understand how divorce-related matters are handled. This article focuses on property division. Different states have different laws governing property division, so it is crucial that you do not get confused. Read on to learn how property is divided in divorce in New Jersey.
New Jersey is an Equitable Distribution State
Some states are community property states. In community property states, assets are divided equally between spouses during divorce. However, New Jersey is not one of the community property states. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. In New Jersey, when married couples divorce, the court must divide marital property between the spouses in a fair manner, which does not always mean an equal split, although an equal division is possible. Separate property is not distributed between spouses during divorce in New Jersey.
What is Marital Property?
In general, marital property is any property that was obtained during the marriage. Marital property that can be subject to equitable distribution includes, but is not limited to, the following;
- Homes bought during the marriage
- Motor vehicles bought during the marriage
- Furniture bought during the marriage
- Money either spouse earned during the marriage
- Gifts between spouses
- Joint bank accounts
What is Separate Property?
Separate property is generally anything acquired by a spouse before the marriage and after the divorce complaint was filed. Additionally, some things fall under separate property despite being obtained during the marriage. They include the following;
- Something inherited by one spouse during the marriage
- Gifts meant for one spouse
- The increase in value of something that was acquired before the marriage
Separate Property Can Turn Into Marital Property
Sometimes, property that started as separate can become marital property. It is crucial that you understand how this can happen.
So, when can separate property convert to marital property? Separate property can convert to marital property if a spouse puts a separate property in both spouses’ names. Also, if something that belongs to one spouse is commingled/mixed with marital property, it can become marital property.
How New Jersey Decides on Property Division
Sometimes, divorcing couples agree on the distribution of property. However, if a couple cannot reach an agreement, the court must decide for them. To determine how to equitably divide marital property between spouses, New Jersey courts apply several factors outlined under N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:34-23.1. These factors include the following;
- The duration of the marriage
- The living standard established during the marriage
- The health of the parties
- The parties’ economic standards
- The income or property each party brought to the marriage
- Each party’s contribution to the training, education, or earning power of the other
Contact a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer
If you are about to get a divorce and are looking for a qualified divorce lawyer, look no further than The Trabosh Law Firm. You can contact our New Jersey family lawyer by calling 856-874-8840 or filling out our online contact form.