When you are contemplating a divorce in New Jersey, before you make the final decision you need to learn as much as you can. One of the most important things to know before you make the decision is how assets are divided when you get divorced. Without knowing how this will happen, you may be unpleasantly surprised at the end of the divorce. You have to understand what constitutes marital property and understand the concept of equitable distribution. The following is a brief primer on what you should know about the division of assets in a New Jersey divorce.
New Jersey Uses the Equitable Distribution Theory
Most people think that when a divorce happens, the courts will strive to split up the marital property in a mostly even split, 50% of the value of the marital assets go to each spouse. But with equitable distribution, the courts will look at what is most fair given the circumstances of each case. This concept of fundamental fairness may mean that one spouse might receive more of the assets than the other. A court will consider the following factors in dividing a couple’s assets:
- The length of the marriage.
- Each spouse’s medical and mental conditions including emotional health, and age.
- What property was brought into the marriage.
- The standard of living to which each spouse is accustomed.
- Any prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements covering property division.
- Each spouse’s overall economic circumstances including education and work skills.
- Each spouse’s earning capacity and their potential to earn based upon their education, training, experience, length of any absence from the job market, and custodial responsibilities for the couple’s children.
- Limitations on a spouse’s ability to earn in the future due to delaying their education for children, etc.
- Any time and expense required for a spouse to acquire the education or training necessary to achieve a standard of living comparable to the marital standard.
- How much contribution did one spouse make to the education and earning potential of the other spouse.
- Tax considerations after distribution.
- The present value of all property.
- If children are involved, is there a need for one spouse to occupy and own the marital home.
- Each spouse’s debts and liabilities, both individually and combined.
- Medical or educational needs going into the future for either spouse or a child.
- Any other relevant factors.
Does the Court Consider Fault?
Usually, a court will not consider which spouse can be blamed for the divorce. In many instances, this would be a difficult and complicated question to address. But there are a few rare exceptions. Where one spouse has wasted marital assets by spending money on something harmful to the marriage like gambling or an affair, then the court might take that into consideration when dividing assets.
Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Are Here to Help Answer Your New Jersey Divorce Questions
If you are contemplating a divorce, you should have as much information as possible before proceeding. The Cherry Hill divorce lawyers at Burnham Douglass are here to use their decades of experience to help you through this process. Call us today at 856-751-5505 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we proudly serve all communities of South Jersey, Evesham Township, Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic City.