How Are Investments and Stocks Divided In a Divorce?
If you are getting a divorce and you have investments and stocks, you may be wondering what happens to such assets. That can depend on a few different factors, but you can usually expect investments and stocks to get split up like other property in a divorce. If you want to be sure that you are getting your fair share when they are split up, the Morris County, NJ divorce lawyers from our firm are ready to help you.
Are Investments and Stocks Considered Marital Property?
Investments and stocks are similar to many other assets in that they can be considered separate property or marital property. If you purchased shares in a company or had an investment account before you got married, it is likely that these assets would be considered separate property. You came into the marriage with them, so you should leave with them.
When you and your spouse use your pooled money to make investments, that is when these assets can be considered marital property. They will have to be split up among the two of you once you divorce.
What Can a Judge Consider When Dividing Up Investments and Stocks?
A judge can look at a wide range of factors when dividing up assets like investments and stocks. New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that the courts strive to make property distribution as fair as possible. How your investments and stocks are split could be partially determined by:
- Whether one spouse wasted a significant amount of marital assets
- How long a marriage lasted
- The current and future financial status of both spouses
- The earning potential and taxes associated with each asset
- Whether one spouse is already receiving support, like child support, from another marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- The employability of each spouse
A judge can determine that one spouse should have a larger or smaller share of your investments and stocks based on any of the above factors. So if you have 200 shares of a company, you may get to split it down the middle and take 100 shares each. Or a judge could look at these factors and decide that one spouse deserves more of this particular asset. Now you get 140 shares and your spouse gets 60. That is equitable distribution, even though it is not an even distribution.
When Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?
Having a divorce lawyer can be beneficial for a few reasons. An experienced attorney can help you fight for your fair share of marital assets. If your spouse has an attorney and you do not, you could be put at a serious disadvantage. Hiring a lawyer costs money, but it is an investment that can pay off.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you have any questions about your investments and stocks or how they will be divided up during a divorce, we can help. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark to schedule a consultation. We can tell you more about what you can expect during the divorce process and how our attorneys can be of assistance.