When a couple gets divorced in New Jersey, part of the process will involve dividing their property. However, not all their property will be divided as some property is considered separate, and some are considered marital. Only marital property is divided when couples divorce.
What constitutes marital property?
In New Jersey, property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. Property acquired before the couple got married is considered separate property. Additionally, inheritances and gifts received by each spouse during the marriage are also considered separate. However, if the spouses gave each other gifts, those gifts will be considered marital property and will be included in property division process.
How is marital property divided?
Like most states, marital property in New Jersey is divided using the equitable distribution standard. This means that property is divided in a fair and reasonable way, based on each spouse’s contribution and interests in the marriage. In some cases, this results in a 50-50 split of the property, but in others, the division will be different.
What factors does the court consider when dividing marital property?
Once the marital property and its total value have been identified, the court takes into consideration a variety of factors before establishing how the property will be divided. These factors include:
- Each spouse’s age, their physical and emotional well-being and their contributions to the marriage
- How long the spouses were married
- The debts and liabilities of each spouse
- What each spouse’s financial situation and earning capacity will be after divorce
- The standard of living enjoyed by the spouses during the marriage
- Any existing prenups or postnups
Equitable distribution ensures that each person’s contributions to the marriage, even non-financial ones such as those made by stay-at-home spouses, will be considered during the divorce. This should help both spouses begin their post-divorce financial life in a healthy way.