When a couple dissolves their marriage, one of the most contentious issues they will face is the division of assets. Understandably, there is a lot at stake as a judge’s determination of how marital property will be divided can negatively affect your overall financial security after a divorce. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, therefore any assets acquired during the marriage will be divided equitably between both parties. Many couples often wonder whether gifts are considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution. Keep reading to learn whether you can keep gifts in a divorce and discover how our knowledgeable Monmouth County Division of Assets Attorneys can help you protect your hard-earned assets during property distribution.
Are gifts subject to equitable distribution in a New Jersey divorce?
If a couple cannot reach a mutual agreement on property division, a judge will decide how to divide the couple’s marital assets. States adhere to community property or equitable distribution rules when dividing marital assets in a divorce. As mentioned above, New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. Therefore, any assets that were acquired during the marriage that are considered marital property will be divided between both parties in whatever way the court deems fair. Essentially, this means marital property is not automatically divided evenly 50/50. In some cases, one spouse may receive a larger share of marital assets if the court deems it reasonable. Generally, the court will consider all relevant circumstances to determine a fair split. The following includes but is not limited to the factors a judge will usually evaluate:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s income and earning potential
- Each spouse’s financial obligations
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The tax consequences of property division
The judge will consider a wide array of pertinent factors to determine a fair division of marital property. However, it is important to note that not all assets are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. As mentioned above, any assets acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution. Separate property, any assets acquired outside of the marriage cannot be divided. With that being said, many couples wonder whether gifts are subject to equitable distribution. Gifts may be divided, however, it depends on whether the gift was given between spouses. For instance, if you were given a gift from a non-spouse, that gift will be considered separate property and therefore is not subject to equitable distribution. However, if the gift was given from one spouse to the other, it will be considered marital property and therefore subject to equitable distribution.
If you are seeking a divorce, don’t struggle through this complex legal matter alone. Allow our dedicated and trusted attorneys to help you navigate the intricacies of this legal process. Our firm will work tirelessly to help you protect your finances during a divorce.