When you get divorced, your property is subject to being divided between you and your former spouse. With this, you may be wondering how the New Jersey family court determines whether you or your former spouse are more entitled to a certain asset. Follow along to find out how this works and how a proficient Morristown property distribution lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can vouch for you.
By definition, what is equitable distribution?
First of all, the New Jersey family court will have to divide your and your former spouse’s property into two categories, namely marital property and separate property. For one, your marital property is considered the assets that you and your former spouse collected during your marriage. On the other hand, your separate property is considered the assets you and your former spouse acquired before or outside of your marriage.
Once the court deciphers what is considered your marital property, it will conduct the equitable distribution process. This is a process in which the court distributes your marital property between you and your former spouse in a fashion they deem as fair and just. Notice that the operative words are “fair” and “just” instead of “equal” and “even.” Meaning, the court may not decide on a 50/50 split of the property.
How do I prove my ownership over a certain property?
You must make certain that the New Jersey family court does not mistake your separate property as marital property. It may be helpful to provide pieces of evidence to the court to prove the contrary. Examples are as follows:
- A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that identifies a certain property as yours in the event of a divorce.
- A receipt from your purchase of a certain property that dates back to before your marriage.
- An estate planning document from a gift or inheritance that only names you as a beneficiary.
How does the New Jersey family court determine property distribution in a divorce?
The New Jersey family court will look at a wide array of factors when determining an equitable way to distribute marital property between you and your former spouse. These factors may be similar to those considered for child support decisions, spousal support decisions, etc. Examples are as follows:
- The duration of your and your former spouse’s marriage.
- Your and your former spouse’s age and health.
- Your and your former spouse’s yearly income and overall earning capacity.
- Your and your former spouse’s incurred debts and liabilities.
- Your and your former spouse’s potential tax consequences.
- Your and your former spouse’s monetary and non-monetary contributions to the marriage.
It should go without saying that you must consult with a talented Morristown family law attorney immediately. Give us a call whenever you can.