Divorce is a trying procedure emotionally. In many instances, tensions run very high between divorcing couples, and while mediation is the recommended method for an amiable split, sometimes it is simply not feasible. If a divorce proceeding should become contentious, it is important to protect yourself and your assets. While nobody gets married expecting a divorce, it doesn’t hurt to learn as much as you can about the process in case you ever find yourself getting a divorce.

There are a number of useful methods advantageous to New Jersey residents. Asset division is both important and often complex. It is vital for couples to know just what they own, as some assets such as stocks or savings accounts can be titled in a maiden name. Such knowledge is especially relevant in high-asset divorce cases when both parties may have a large number of assets.

Another complex division comes from retirement accounts. Many people may not know that timing can be crucial when it comes to asset division, as assets that are transferred before the judge approves a legal separation agreement could be subject to a 10 percent penalty. Additionally, employer retirement benefits can only be divided with a special court order known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

These are just some of the many types of complexities couples can run into during divorce proceedings. Asset division is only part of what divorcing couples may have to face, as the proceedings can become much more complex when children are involved. It is for these reasons that the importance of legal counsel cannot be overstated when it comes to divorce.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “If Divorcing, Divide Investments With Care,” Lisa Ward, April 6, 2014