It is regularly suggested that half the marriages in this country end prematurely. According to a recent article in Time magazine, over the 35-year period between 1980 and 2015, the divorce rate actually decreased by 25 percent. While this gives a positive indication of the state of marriage today, the simple fact is that many New Jersey residents will decide to divorce this year.
It is preferable to put protections in place for one’s assets as they are created or obtained, although many married people see this as a cynical a move. When one considers that parents take actions that will safeguard assets for future generations, it makes sense to believe that one should give the same care to oneself in advance of any potential problems. Once the possibility of divorce does raise its head, attempting to safeguard assets at that point may be seen as an attempt to defraud one’s spouse.
If, during the course of the marriage, one is the beneficiary of an inheritance, it would not form part of the joint marital assets unless they become commingled. The same applies to gifts of money or other assets from family members. How real estate is divided may be dependent on whether it was obtained in the name of one or both spouses, and how it was acquired.
In an equitable distribution state like New Jersey, if a couple cannot agree between themselves what constitutes a fair division of property during divorce, then it will be up to a judge to make that decision. What he or she deems fair may be far removed from what either spouse believes to be true. Keeping accurate records of financial and other forms of contribution will help in making one’s case for the division of property and assets.
Source: kiplinger.com, “Strategically Thinking About Divorce“, Andrew Bass, Accessed on 4 May, 2017