How property will be divided during divorce can be a concern that can cause anxiety for divorcing spouses. To help with that anxiety and the worry that sometimes accompanies it, it can be useful to have a general understanding of how property is divided in New Jersey during divorce.
Once the divorcing spouses have a general understanding of the property division process, they can begin to prepare for their property division process and to prioritize and protect their interests during the process.
What property division looks like during the divorce process
- Equitable Property Division: In New Jersey, marital property is divided during divorce according to equitable property division rules which seeks a far distribution of property between the spouses.
- Marital Property: Marital property is the type of property that is subject to the property division process. It typically includes property and assets acquired by the couple during the marriage.
- Separate Property: Separate property is not commonly subject to the property division process. It typically includes property one of the spouses entered the marriage with, inheritances, gifts and personal injury awards.
Determination of property division
Property division is determined based on the evaluation of factors including:
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and physical and emotional health of each of the spouses;
- The income of each of the spouses;
- The economic situations of each of the spouses;
- The debts and liabilities of the spouses;
- The earning capacity of each of the spouses;
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple during marriage;
- The contributions of each of the spouses to the marital property, including contributions made by a spouse who remained at home to care for the household and children;
- Any written agreements related to property division such as a prenuptial agreement; and
- Any other relevant factors.
Taken together, the goal of the equitable property division process is to reach a property division settlement agreement that is fair to both of the spouses. Because what that looks like can be different for each divorcing couple, it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand the property division process and know what to expect.