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Property division in New Jersey: How do pensions fit in the mix?

When a couple makes the decision to divorce, there are a number of issues they need to discuss. One of those is property division. How are assets and debts split when a couple is soon to un-couple? One of the things that could be up for discussion concerns pensions. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state which means in the event of a divorce, marital property is not automatically split 50-50, and as such, the division of marital assets will be done in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal.

Property division and the family pet

Sometimes, when a couple prepares to marry, they agree on a pre-nup. Especially in situations where one or both parties has assets that they want to protect in the event of a divorce, a pre-nup can specify such terms ahead of time. When it comes to divorce and the property division that occurs, many people may wonder who gets "custody" of a family pet. New Jersey couples may want to consider a pet-nup. 

Dealing with artwork during property division

The property division process can be as unique as the financial makeup of the individuals involved in a divorce. This means that couples that are dissolving their marriages need to be prepared to come up with customized legal solutions to their property division disputes. One of the first steps in doing this is understanding the assets in play, how to valuate them, and how to divide them equitably, but not necessarily fairly.

Things to consider before engaging in property division

There's no doubt that the property division process can shape your post-divorce life. Depending on the outcome of the process, you can be left feeling like you got a fair shake out of your marriage dissolution or you end up feeling cheated. There are many things you can do to better ensure that you achieve an equitable distribution of marital assets, though, which we'll touch on briefly here.

Property division and the family home

Many New Jersey families build a lifetime of memories in their familial home. This can make it difficult to part ways with the residence when a divorce occurs, especially when children are involved because one or both parents may be concerned about how a move will affect the children's well-being. Therefore, oftentimes, the parties to a divorce will fight over who will keep the home, usually due to their sentimental ties to it. But does it always make sense to fight for the family residence during the property division process? Maybe not.

Separate bank accounts don't always avoid property division

Marriage isn't a one-size fits all arrangement. These relationships can take various forms, and what works for one Marlton couple may not work for another. That is why the relational expectations and the way finances are handled may differ significantly between baby boomer and millennial couples. One study highlights those differences. It found that many millennial couples are ditching jointly held bank accounts in favor of individual accounts.

Working through a checklist of assets in property division

When some people think about the property division part of a divorce case, they think of splitting everything they own "50/50" with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. However, in New Jersey, that isn't always exactly how things end up. In family courts in New Jersey, the standard for property division is an "equitable distribution" of assets, as well as debts. That means that the court will be look for a fair result, not necessarily an even split.

The property division problem for stay-at-home parents

In New Jersey, as in the rest of the country, it seems that the vast majority of parents - both mothers and fathers - are in the workforce earning an income. However, approximately 25% of mothers stay at home to take care of their children while their spouse works to earn an income. For men, 7% stay at home with the situation reversed. When the marriages between these spouses breakdown, how does the "stay-at-home" aspect of the parenting and marriage work out in the property division process? As it turns out, not well.

The complex divorce issue of dividing business assets

Although divorcing spouses oftentimes work together during the legal process to divide assets in a fair manner, there are times when a unique asset can cause friction, even when the spouses are negotiating amicably. Business assets, particularly a family business, can be difficult to approach in the property division part of a divorce case. But, there are options for soon-to-be ex-spouses to consider when it comes to a family business and the impact on that business in a divorce.

A wide range of factors can impact the property division process

When New Jersey residents get stressed out during the property division part of their divorce cases, it is understandable. After all, many married couples spend years - even decades - accumulating wealth together. To have a divorce case implement the necessity of dividing all of those assets can be a difficult thing for anyone to go through. To make things even more complicated, there are a wide variety of factors that can come into play during the property division process - unless the couple can reach an out-of-court agreement.

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Marlton, NJ 08053

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