If you are in a marriage that is coming to an end, your marital property will have to be divided between you and your spouse as a part of your divorce proceedings. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, but it is important to note that equitable in this case does not mean equal. Instead of dividing all assets in half, the court will base its division determination based upon a variety of factors, including the length of your marriage, your respective earning potentials and whether either of you made career sacrifices during your marriage.
Marital assets include all property that was gained during the course of a marriage, so whatever property you or your spouse owned before you married is usually exempt from asset division, although there are some important exceptions. A crucial part of preparing for this process is to compile a complete list of assets, including bank accounts, real estate and physical property, and determine their value. Determining the value of property not only can help speed up the division process, it can also ensure that an equitable outcome is achieved.
If you are your spouse own a home together, you may be in a position that you owe more on your home that the amount of money that you would be able to sell it for. This situation should not prevent you from getting a divorce because there are a variety of options for people in these situations, and judges have a fair amount of discretion in these circumstances if negotiations fail.
How assets are divided during a divorce can have a significant impact on your financial situation as well as your ability to maintain your lifestyle. Our page on property division can give you more information about what is involved in this process.