What Am I Entitled to in a New Jersey Divorce? What to Know
When a couple gets married, they combine certain assets. So, if they are getting divorced, what happens to their shared assets? Many people wonder what they are entitled to in their divorce. Read on to learn more about equitable division in New Jersey and what you are entitled to in your divorce.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
One of the most important things to know is the difference between marital and separate property. Throughout the duration of a marriage, couples share a variety of assets. These are put into two different categories in a divorce case: marital property and separate property.
- Marital property consists of the assets the couple acquired throughout their marriage. This can include real estate, cars, income, certain retirement or pension accounts, and more.
- Separate property consists of assets that were obtained by either party before the marriage. This can include separate bank accounts, gifts, inheritances, and more. Separate property is usually untouched during a divorce. However, marital property is subject to equitable distribution.
What is Equitable Distribution?
Equitable does not mean “equal.” Your assets will be divided in a way that is fair to both parties. Contrary to popular belief, your assets may not be split 50/50. If you take your divorce to court, the court will examine a number of factors in order to determine how your assets should be divided.
What is Considered When Distributing Assets?
New Jersey courts consider a variety of different aspects about both spouses during a divorce in order to determine what is equitable. This can include the following:
- Property value
- Yearly income
- The established financial standard of living in the marriage
- The terms of any existing child custody agreement
Alimony & Child Support
In some cases, you will be entitled to receive alimony and/or child support. Alimony is dependent upon a number of factors, including the length of the marriage and the financial situation of each party. Child support is taken very seriously in New Jersey. Child support will be determined by things like both parent’s income, the standard of living for the child, and more.
How Can I Protect My Assets?
One of the best ways to protect your assets is by creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement will allow you to declare how your assets will be divided in the event that marriage ends as a result of death, divorce, or separation. If you have certain assets you wish to protect, you can list them in your prenup. A postnuptial agreement is the same document, but it is created after the marriage, rather than before.
If you are getting divorced and you are wondering what you are entitled to, contact our firm to speak with an experienced attorney.
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If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today