One of the most frequently contested matters in a divorce case is the division of assets. Some couples are able to distribute their assets fairly by coming to an agreement outside of court. When parties cannot agree to issues of property distribution, the matter must be litigated. If property distribution is a contested matter in your divorce, it is essential to have the guidance of a skilled legal team who can fight for your rights. Our division of assets attorneys are here to guide you through the process ahead.
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In New Jersey, marital property is divided in a process known as equitable distribution. There is a common misconception that property is divided equally in a divorce. Equitable distribution really means that property is divided in a fair and just manner. While sometimes this can mean an equal division of assets, often, property can be divided in a disproportionate manner. The court will determine what is equitable based on these and other factors, including:
Before the court can divide property, it will have to determine which property is marital and which is exempt from equitable distribution. Marital property is usually an asset acquired during the course of the marriage. On the other hand, exempt property is an asset that was usually acquired prior to the marriage. Exempt property can also include gifts, and inheritances that were not commingled with the other marital assets. In some cases, determining whether the property is marital or exempt can be very complicated. It is important to have the skill of an experienced attorney help you with these matters.
Although a lot of factors are considered when dividing assets, marital fault is usually not one of them. Most divorces today do not cite fault grounds and those that do rarely make a difference. However, if economic fault exists in your case, it may affect the distribution. For example, if your spouse used marital assets on an extramarital affair or purposefully wasted assets in response to the pending divorce, the court may take that into consideration in determining equitable distribution.
Paone Zaleski & Murphy has over 30 years of experience representing clients in all divorce and family law matters. We understand the emotional toll that a divorce has on an individual and are here to fight for the success and security of your future. Contact Paone Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation if you require strong legal representation.
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