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Ins and Outs of New Jersey Equitable Property Division

New Jersey divorce law utilizes what is known as the equitable division standard when it comes to addressing property and debt during a marriage dissolution case. There are some key factors you need to understand about the New Jersey equitable property division standard.

When it comes to the ins and outs of New Jersey equitable division of property, several elements need to be considered:

  • Definition of equitable division of property
  • Understanding what equitable division is not
  • Interaction between marital property and equitable division
  • Mechanics of a property settlement agreement
  • Importance of legal representation
Definition of New Jersey Equitable Property Division

Equitable property division in New Jersey means that assets and debts in a divorce will be distributed between the parties to a divorce in a fair, equitable, and just manner. This does not mean that assets and debts will be divided equally in a divorce case. Rather, a determination regarding how property and debt will be divided is made based on a consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the marriage and the divorce.

What New Jersey Equitable Property Division is Not

Equitable division of property is not the same as the community property standard. Most states in the United States utilize the equitable division of property standard when it comes to dividing up marital assets and debts in a divorce proceeding. With that said, when though New Jersey equitable property division is the standard in the Garden State, odds are that more people in NJ are familiar with the idea of community property.

The community property standard – used in California, for example – presumes that assets and debts from a marriage will be divided equally between divorcing parties. If there is to be a departure from an equal division, a divorce court must be provided with persuasive evidence as to why such a deviation should occur.

Marital Property and Equitable Division

Only marital property is subject to equitable division in a New Jersey marital dissolution case. Other property is not. Marital assets are those that have been accumulated or obtained by the parties during the course of the marriage. Marital debt has a similar definition. Marital debts are those obligations accrued by the parties during the course of a marriage.

Nonmarital assets are property that a party to a marriage owned prior to the nuptials.

Inheritance oftentimes will be categorized as a nonmarital asset as well. For example, a spouse might inherit property from one of his or her family members. Non marital assets are not subject to equitable distribution as long they are not commingled with marital assets.

Mechanics of a Property Settlement Agreement

New Jersey public policy encourages the negotiated settlement of issues in a divorce case as opposed to a contentious trial. Therefore, a court will look favorable on parties to a divorce who are able to reach a settlement agreement.

Guard Your Legal Rights in a New Jersey Divorce

A crucial step you need to take in order to protect your rights and interests in a divorce case is to hire a lawyer. The first step in that process is scheduling what is known as a free initial consultation with a New Jersey divorce attorney like a member of the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen.

You can schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation with an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer by calling (201) 845-7400. Our firm can schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated, trustworthy New Jersey divorce attorney at a time convenient for you.

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