NJ Equitable Distribution
NJ equitable distribution refers to the division of properties, liabilities, and obligations between divorcing spouses. This is not as simple as dividing assets according to the name on a title or account.
In New Jersey marital assets are not automatically split in half “equally” as the common title may suggest, but are instead divided in a way that is fair to both parties. In order to reach fair equitable distribution, the Court considers the following factors pursuant to New Jersey Statute N.J.S.A. 2A: 34-23.1:
• The duration of the marriage or civil union;
• The age and physical and emotional health of the parties;
• The income or property brought to the marriage or civil union by each party;
• The standard of living established during the marriage or civil union;
• Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage or civil union concerning an arrangement of property distribution;
• The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective;
• The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage or civil union;
• The contribution by each party to the education, training or earning power of the other;
• The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, or the property acquired during the civil union as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker;
• The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party;
• The present value of the property;
• The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence or residence shared by the partners in a civil union couple and to use or own the household effects;
• The debts and liabilities of the parties;
• The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse, partner in a civil union couple or children;
• The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career goals; and
• Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
Assets and Liabilities
While every couple will face different challenges throughout their divorce, some of the common assets and liabilities involved in NJ equitable distribution include:
• The marital home and other real property (vacation or second homes)
• Bank accounts and investment accounts
• Retirement accounts, IRA accounts, and pensions
• Life insurance
• Vehicles and other tangible personal property (furniture, appliances, etc.)
• Credit card debt and other short and long term debts
• Income tax liabilities
These assets and liabilities as well as income and tax information will be laid out in each parties’ Case Information Statement. The Case Information Statement (CIS) is an important document that helps establish a person’s life style in addition to revealing all assets and liabilities. This is crucial to NJ equitable distribution as well as establishing alimony and child support.
Dissipation of assets
Some individuals may be concerned about their spouse using marital property for purposes unrelated to the marriage or children. The spouse responsible will be held accountable during the NJ equitable distribution process to ensure just results. At Armour Law Firm we have dealt with challenges such as dissipation of assets and know the best way set things right for our clients.
NJ equitable distribution can be relatively simple or complex, depending on the parties’ financial and personal situations. Having an honest and experienced NJ family law attorney by your side will help ensure that you get what you fairly deserve.
Call us today at 732-276-9499 to schedule your free consultation. For your convenience, we accept credit cards and offer evening and weekend appointments.