Most people have more assets than they realize. This is especially true for married couples. Throughout the course of a marriage, couples will accumulate real estate, vehicles, retirement accounts and valuable personal property, just to name a few examples. When a marriage turns toward a divorce, couples in New Jersey must consider all of their assets in the property division process of the case.
In some cases, it can be helpful for couples to go through a checklist of potential assets they might own. They can do this separately, or they can do this together if they are amicable enough. Assets such as real estate are often identified readily enough -- the family home, a vacation cabin or rental properties, for example. But, some assets, like valuable personal property, may not be in the forefront of a person's mind as the divorce proceeds. Do you own valuable artwork or antiques? What about collectibles, jewelry or even valuable firearms? Married couples often do not realize how much value they have in these types of assets.
Different types of accounts are also assets to list. Sure, you know about your checking and savings account from daily use, but what about your 401(k), pension accounts or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)? Do you have a stock-trading account? An account for educational funds for your children? It is important for couples who are going through a divorce to make sure that they have an accurate list of all their monetary accounts.
Property division is just one part of a divorce case, but, for many people, it is the part of the divorce that will have the longest lasting impact on their post-divorce lives. Once the divorce case is finalized, there usually isn't any going back on how the assets from the marriage have been split. Therefore, it is important that the division of assets is fair to all involved.