Equitable Distribution in Oradell
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, as opposed to a community property state. This means that marital assets and marital debts are not automatically split equally in a divorce. Instead, the court will consider several statutory factors in deciding what constitutes an equitable distribution:
- The duration of the marriage or civil union
- The age and physical and emotional health of the parties
- The income or property brought to the marriage or civil union by each party
- The standard of living established during the marriage or civil union
- Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage or civil union concerning an arrangement of property distribution
- The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective
- The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage or civil union
- The contribution by each party to the education, training or earning power of the other
- The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, or the property acquired during the civil union as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker
- The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party
- The present value of the property
- The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence or residence shared by the partners in a civil union couple and to use or own the household effects
- The debts and liabilities of the parties
- The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse, partner in a civil union couple or children
- The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career goals and
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
This list is not exhaustive. Other factors, such as whether one or both spouses dissipated any marital assets, or whether one spouse acted as a stay-at-home parent may be taken into consideration. Under New Jersey law, courts recognize that marriage is a partnership. Therefore, non-monetary contributions to property are generally valued equally with monetary contributions.
The general time period for determining what property is acquired during the marriage (and thus subject to equitable distribution) is the period from the date of marriage to the filing of the divorce complaint. Individual gifts from third parties outside of the marriage, inherited assets, and assets and debts either spouse brings into a marriage, are generally considered to be separate property and not subject to equitable distribution.
If you have questions about equitable distribution, assets or debts, you may need the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. Contact The Law Office of Joseph A. DiPiazza, LLC at (201) 597-0065 to schedule a legal consultation with our New Jersey Equitable Distribution Attorney.
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