In the state of New Jersey, equitable distribution decides how assets are divided during divorce. After couples get a divorce, they have possessions that need to be split between them. This can be a difficult task to accomplish amongst themselves. When the courts get involved, a judge will use the concept of equitable distribution to divide the assets between both spouses. This concept means that the assets will be divided between the two parties in a fair and just manner. However, this does not mean that the assets will be distributed equally between the two parties.

What is the difference between marital property and separate property?

Before assets are divided between the couple, the assets need to be categorized as marital property or separate property. Marital property is considered to be assets that are acquired during the marriage between the two spouses. This may include the purchase of a home that was bought for the intended marriage between the couple. In comparison, separate property is something that was not a part of the marriage. This may include a spouse’s inheritance or any personal gifts that were given to them.

Can fault grounds in a divorce filing impact the distribution of assets?

Cases that divide the assets in a marriage may not be impacted by the fault that was declared during the divorce proceedings. Since equitable distribution is the practiced form of division of assets in New Jersey, that will take priority. If there are economic impacts made by a spouse, this may change the judge’s view on equitable distribution. For example, if one spouse wasted away assets knowing a divorce was coming, they may have a negative impact on their split of the assets.

What is considered for the judge’s decision of equitable distribution?

When marital property is being divided, the judge will consider many different factors in a marriage. Some of these include the duration of the marriage, the contribution of each spouse, the acquisition of the assets, tax consequences of the proposed distribution, the present value of the property, age and health of both parties and the debts and liabilities of both parties. With these factors in mind, the judge will make a decision they deem to be fair.

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.