If you choose to end your marriage, there is a chance that you will cede control of your New Jersey home to your spouse. There is also a chance that you will cede other properties that you own at the time of the divorce. Let’s take a look at how state law impacts the structure of a final settlement and the steps that you might be able to take to protect your real estate portfolio.
New Jersey is an equitable division state
The state of New Jersey mandates that marital property be divided in an equitable fashion. Depending on the facts in your case, there is a chance that you might receive less than 50% of the marital estate. Generally speaking, this will be true if you made more money than your spouse or have separate property that you can use to support yourself as a single person.
What can you do to protect your real estate holdings?
It may be a good idea to place a rental or investment property into an LLC that is solely in your name. It may also be worthwhile to place homes, land or commercial properties in a trust. Alternatively, you can create a prenuptial agreement containing language stipulating that real estate holdings are to be considered your separate property. A postnuptial agreement may also be used to accomplish the same goal.
You can negotiate to keep assets in a final settlement
It’s important to understand that you can negotiate to keep your real estate holdings in a final divorce settlement. For instance, you might agree to give up 100% of a joint bank or brokerage account in exchange for the right to keep a piece of land or multifamily property.
A divorce may have a significant impact on your financial future, and this is partially because you may lose valuable assets such as a home. However, if you take timely action, it may be possible to avoid losing assets that you place a high value on.