Equitable Distribution of Property

An Overview of Equitable Distribution of Property in New Jersey

At Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C., we understand and appreciate the importance of dividing property in every divorce. Our divorce attorneys are well versed in guiding clients through the criteria that courts in Middlesex County and through the State of New Jersey use to equitably distribute property.

When a New Jersey court addresses the division of property in a divorce, property is divided based on equitable principles, which are principles based on fairness. Property is not divided simply based upon whose name appears as the owner or the title holder on a particular account, on a parcel of real estate, or on any other asset. In general, all marital assets are subject to equitable distribution. Marital assets are assets that are acquired by either party or are acquired jointly by both parties during a marriage from the date of a marriage through the filing date of a divorce complaint. In other words, both parties typically have an equitable interest in all marital assets, regardless of whose name appears or is recorded as the owner of the asset, with some exceptions. Exceptions include property that one party inherits in her or his name only or receives as a gift in her or his name only that has not been comingled with other marital assets. These are complicated concepts that the divorce attorneys at Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C., stand ready to explain.

Factors to Divide Property

The relevant statute requires a court to consider, but not be limited to, the following factors to order an equitable distribution of property:

  • The duration of the marriage or civil union;
  • The age and physical and emotional health of the parties;
  • The income or property brought to the marriage or civil union by each party;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage or civil union;
  • Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage or civil union concerning an arrangement of property distribution;
  • The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective;
  • The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage or civil union;
  • The contribution by each party to the education, training or earning power of the other;
  • The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, or the property acquired during the civil union as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker;
  • The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party;
  • The present value of the property;
  • The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence or residence shared by the partners in a civil union couple and to use or own the household effects;
  • The debts and liabilities of the parties;
  • The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse, partner in a civil union couple or children;
  • The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career goals; and
  • Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

The relevant statute also provides that there is a rebuttable presumption that each party made a substantial financial or nonfinancial contribution to the acquisition of income and property while the parties were married.

Contact a Middlesex County Equitable Distribution Divorce Attorney for More Information

The attorneys at Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C., proudly serve the legal communities in Middlesex County, Metuchen, Edison, Piscataway, Woodbridge, East Brunswick, North Brunswick, and throughout New Jersey. Please call us to schedule a free initial consultation at 732-767-0044 or contact us online today.

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