When New Jersey residents get married, they often decide to buy a new home with their spouse. As a result, this property becomes marital property and could be considered divisible by the court if the couple decides to divorce. Because New Jersey is an equitable division state, property distribution will typically be close to equal when individuals divorce.

Because state courts follow equitable division rules, only marital property may be divided between the divorcing couple. This means that assets acquired after the couple married may be up for division. Typically, items such as the family home and certain money accounts may be considered marital property and could potentially be divided between the parties.

Though individuals may have the opportunity to come to terms on their own, it is possible that it may be difficult to come to agreements. As a result, a court may have to determine what property should go to which individual. As mentioned, only marital property may be divided, which means that assets acquired by one individual before the marriage are not typically divided. This can change, however, if the separate property of one party is somehow commingled with marital property during the marriage. All marital property should be appraised in order for values to be known in order to ensure a fair division.

Property distribution can be a sore spot for New Jersey residents going through divorce. In many cases, couples may find themselves unable to divide their property in an amiable manner. However, seeking guidance and support concerning equitable division and what to expect out of the division process may be helpful in achieving a fair and comprehensive result.

Source: yourdailyjournal.com, “Legal Corner: When divorce gets messy, judges divide property”, Bellonora McCallum, May 29, 2015