There are numerous legal matters that need to be taken care of when a couple begins their divorce process. This includes the division of the couple’s assets between the two of them. In order to do this correctly, it is important for couples to honestly disclose all of their marital and separate property. To do this, a list must be created of every asset and debt they have. This information is necessary to negotiate a fair divorce settlement.
Listing Your Assets
Throughout a marriage, spouses can acquire many different assets. This can include properties, accounts, possessions, investments, businesses, and items of cash value. Going through these can prove to be overwhelming and time-consuming, which is why it is important to handle this before the proceedings begin. Assets that should be listed can include the following:
- Personal bank accounts, shared documents, retirement accounts, and credit cards.
- Real estate properties. This can include the marital home, vacation homes, income properties, land, etc.
- Cars and recreational vehicles. If applicable, this can include a daily driver, boats, motorcycles, trailers, etc.
- Investments. This can include life insurance accounts, retirement funds, stocks, bonds, annuities, intellectual property, and more.
- All business properties and accounts, if applicable.
- Personal belongings of high value, including jewelry, art, instruments, antiques, etc.
When creating this list, make sure to include any assets that are handled by your spouse that you do not have access to. If you have a large number of assets, you can benefit from working with an accountant, financial advisor, or other experts.
Listing Your Debts
Once your assets are taken care of, your debts must also be listed. This includes any debts that are accumulated during the divorce. This can include the following:
- Home loans
- Equity loans
- Auto loans
- Medical bills
- Credit card bills
- Student loans
- Any other money that is own
It is important to know that the majority of debts that are acquired throughout a marriage are community property. This means that it is subject to equitable distribution in the state of New Jersey. While many believe this means an equal distribution, it actually means the property is distributed based on what the court believes is fair and just. This may lead one spouse to receive more assets than the other. Some debts that were acquired before marriage may be included in this as well if both spouses benefited from it during the marriage.
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.