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Equitable Distribution in New Jersey

When a couple makes the decision to end their marriage through divorce, they will be required to divide the property that was acquired throughout the course of the marriage.  This is known as equitable distribution. The term applies to the division between the parties of the property that was acquired during the marriage or agreed as marital property at the beginning of the marriage.  New Jersey law does not provide for the equal division of property. Rather, the law says that the division of property should be equitable.  The applicable statute sets out the factors the court must consider in order to equitably divide the property acquired between the date of the marriage and the date of the divorce filing.

What property is subject to distribution?

Before you can determine how property will be divided in your divorce, you must first assess which property is marital and which is considered separate. Simply put, marital property is an asset brought into the marriage or acquired during the marriage. Separate property is a different matter. More complicated, separate property is left out of the marriage or property acquired during the marriage that could be considered separate, including personal injury payments, gifts, and inheritances.

Which factors are considered in equitable distribution?

In some cases, a couple can decide how they would like to divide their assets on their own. Other situations, however, are not so simple and the couple cannot come to an agreement. Therefore, the court may have to step in. The court will determine what is equitable based on a number of factors surrounding the marriage. Some of the factors taken into consideration when dividing marital assets include:

  • the amount each spouse contributed to the marital property
  • the age and health of each spouse
  • tax consequences they may face as a result of the distribution
  • the economic status of each spouse

Contact a NJ Divorce Attorney

If you are getting a divorce and property distribution is a contested issue, it is important to discuss your matter with an attorney as soon as possible.  If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.