Divorce in New Jersey can be contentious with the sides in dispute over just about every issue. Even in cases where the parties are on reasonably good terms, there are still aspects of the case that can be problematic.
Most will automatically think about child custody, parenting time and support when weighing topics that might be in dispute. However, when it comes to dividing property, people are prone to digging their heels in and trying to maximize what they receive from the marriage.
In many cases, the sides are just trying to achieve fairness from their perspective. Knowing the law and what the courts will consider is a critical part of the case. This can also help with negotiating a fair settlement to avoid the potential rancor of an extended legal dispute.
New Jersey strives for fairness when dividing property
New Jersey uses equitable distribution when dividing property in a divorce. It does not mean the marital property will be split in half. It means that each case will be looked at individually and the property will be distributed in a manner the court believes is fair. That can be open to interpretation. If there are items that each side wants to retain like a family home, automobiles and sentimental items, it is wise to keep this in mind.
When deciding, the court will look at various factors from the marriage. It will consider how long the couple was married, how old they are and their physical and emotional condition. The financial circumstances are fundamental. If one person brought substantial income and assets into the marriage, that could be essential with how property is shared.
The couple will have had a specific standard of living during the marriage. A relatively affluent couple could have had a nice home, a vacation property and more. This could stoke discord as the sides are trying to decide who will keep what. In some situations, there was an agreement before or during the marriage that states how property will be shared if there is a divorce. This will need to be scrutinized to make sure it is valid.
People have different educations, abilities and earning power. For some, certain properties are necessary to maintain their standard of living and support themselves. The contributions each side made in acquiring the property will be considered. Of course, the value of the property needs to be assessed.
A person might want to keep a family home because they are set to have custody of children and do not want to disrupt the child’s life and routine any more than it is already being upended because of the divorce. This can be a determinative factor in who will get that property and how its costs will be shared.
Property division in divorce can be challenging
If it is possible to do so, people would be wise to try and come to an agreement as to how property will be divided in a divorce. If that cannot be done, each side must be protected. Whether it is a high-value property like real estate, a business or sentimental items, it is useful to know how the law works in these matters and to be prepared and protected from the beginning.