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Divorce may not be fair, but property division can be

Life is full of questions. The older one gets, the more questions seem to arise. However prepared a New Jersey resident may think he or she is, being presented with divorce papers can still feel like a bolt from the blue. One of the questions that might cross a person's mind is what happens when it comes to property division in an equitable distribution state.

While a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may cover many aspects of what might happen in the event of divorce, they are not yet common among people who do not have significant assets to protect, for example. It is preferable for the two parties to come to an amicable agreement on their own regarding property division; however, this is not always possible, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, tensions may run too high for calm discussion, or there is disagreement on how the division can be made fair in the eyes of both parties. In such circumstances, a judge may have to make the determination, and this could vary substantially from either spouse's own view.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the difference between marital and separate assets. Ownership is not always as simple as the name on the deed or title document. Generally speaking, though, anything acquired during the marriage, whether asset or debt, may be considered to be marital property. As with most things, there are some notable exceptions. If one spouse inherits assets in his or her sole name during the marriage, and these assets are not commingled with any joint assets, the inheritance is typically considered a separate asset.

Luckily, all questions that a New Jersey resident might have are likely to have an answer. Whether they relate to property division or divorce in general, seeking answers from the appropriate sources will help to allay worries and steer one in the right direction. In this way one can move forward in a positive manner with the most accurate information to hand.

Source:, "Property Division when Divorced", Greg Kohler, May 9, 2017

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