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Common complexities when dividing property during divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2024 | Divorce

New Jersey divorces are often fraught with emotional challenges and practical complications. Even elements that people expect to be simple can often be very difficult to manage. For example, property division initially may seem like a relatively simple issue to address during a divorce. However, people frequently discover that the exact opposite is true. It can be one of the most challenging aspects of New Jersey divorce proceedings. Couples often find themselves embroiled in disputes about numerous different aspects of the property division process.

What complications are commonplace during asset distribution negotiations or litigation during a New Jersey divorce process?

Establishing the marital estate

Certain property is subject to division during a divorce, and many other resources may have protection from property division. Spouses have to disclose their personal resources to one another and confirm what resources constitute their marital estate. There can often be disagreements about what assets belong to individual spouses as separate property and which ones are marital property that can influence the property division process.

Some people wrongfully assume that assets held in the name of one spouse are separate property. In reality, the names on ownership records are often less important than the date of acquisition and the nature of the capital used to acquire those resources.

Valuing marital property

Even after people have determined what assets are marital and which ones are separate, they may have a hard time agreeing on what those assets are actually worth. For example, spouses may have vastly different estimates about the likely value of their marital home. If they cannot agree on what their assets are worth, they may need professional assistance. Particularly when the property question is complex, such as a family-owned business, there can be a lot of uncertainty about asset valuation.

Reasonably dividing marital property

Once people know what assets are worth and which ones are subject to division, they then have to make choices about actually splitting up those resources. That can prove very challenging. Under equitable distribution rules, the possibilities are almost endless. It is possible to use debt to offset the value of retaining certain property, for example. Spouses may find these issues challenging during divorce negotiations. They can also cause complications during divorce litigation.

Preparing for the most likely challenges during property division, and seeking legal guidance accordingly, is crucial for those getting ready for a high-asset New Jersey divorce.

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