If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may feel apprehensive about the property division phase of the divorce.
The effort to assemble your financial information takes time, but it will help you identify and categorize your assets for a smoother property division experience.
Identification of assets
You must first categorize your assets to show which are marital, belonging to both of you, and which are separate, belonging to you alone. Following identification, a value must be assigned to each asset, which may require the assistance of a professional appraiser.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state meaning that the court will divide property in a divorce fairly but not necessarily equally; that is to say, you should not expect an actual 50-50 split. In making decisions about distribution, the court considers a number of factors, including:
– the length of the marriage
– the age and health of the parties
– the existence of a premarital agreement
– income, property, debts and liabilities both before and during the marriage
– the current value of any property in dispute
– the tax implications of property distribution to either party
– post-divorce economic circumstances of each party
– employability and earning potential of each party
Preparation for property division
You and your spouse should each have a complete set of financial documents to give to your divorce attorneys, making sure that you keep copies for yourselves. Pulling together information about your assets is time-consuming but once done you will feel better organized and more confident as you approach the property division phase of your divorce.