How are Complex Assets Handled in New Jersey Divorce Proceedings?

The process of going through a divorce can often be overwhelming and difficult for all parties that are involved. This is because it requires the separation of two lives that were brought together and intertwined in many ways. Doing so can be complicated in any divorce case, let alone one where spouses are of high net worth. When two spouses going through a divorce share complex assets, the process of distributing them is more intricate. Those who are facing these situations should retain the services of an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance in protecting their valuable assets.

Valuing Complex Assets

The division of complex assets is a largely contested issue in divorce proceedings. Valuing these assets is essential to having an accurate distribution between both spouses. This is done with appraisers and accountants who can determine the worth of these assets. Commonly seen complex properties that are seen in divorce cases can include but is not limited to:

  • Stock options and restricted stock
  • Pension plans and retirement accounts
  • Business executive benefits
  • Multiple homes
  • Closely held or family-owned businesses
  • Intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks)
  • Assets held in a trust or have tax implications for early distribution
  • Separate property that has been commingled with marital property or includes marital property contributions
  • Inheritances, gifts, and trusts
  • Retirement assets
  • Hidden assets

Dividing Complex Property

When assets are divided between two spouses, it is important to understand the concept of equitable distribution. Once assets are valued, the state of New Jersey follows this method in order to determine which assets belong to whom. Equitable distribution does not always mean an equal distribution of assets. Instead, it is a fair and just division of the complex assets between the spouses. 

What is decided as “fair” is subject to the interpretation of many different factors that are present in the situation. This can include the nature of the complex asset, the duration of the marriage, the extent that either party was involved in maintaining the asset, and more. In order to ensure an accurate assessment, professionals in other fields may be required for assistance. This can include experts in accounting, financial analysis, real estate, and property appraisal. In the event of hidden assets, private investigators can be retained for help uncovering them.

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.