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Asset Division Attorney in Somerset County, New Jersey

Dividing property, assets, and debts is one of the most pressing and contentious issues when going through a divorce. This process is often rife with emotions and financial concerns, which is why many couples cannot reach a mutually acceptable agreement and have to rely on the courts to handle the asset division for them.  

As an asset division attorney at Gary Blaustein, Esq, I understand the nuances and complexities of property distribution in New Jersey and strive to ensure fair outcomes for my clients. I provide experienced and empathetic representation to people going through divorce in Somerset County, New Jersey, as well as Somerville, Warren, Basking Ridge, and Bedminster. If you’re in the area and need legal help, contact my firm today.  

Marital Property vs. Separate Property in New Jersey

New Jersey follows the system of “equitable distribution” when it comes to dividing assets and debts accumulated during the marriage. However, do not confuse the term “equitable” with “equal,” as equitable division rarely results in a 50/50 split. Instead of dividing the assets equally, courts consider a variety of factors to determine what is fair. Prior to dividing assets in a divorce, courts classify the couple’s property as either marital or separate property: 

  • Marital property refers to any property and assets acquired after the couple got married and also any assets brought into the marriage by either spouse but used for the benefit of both spouses during the marriage. For example, if one spouse owned an automobile before the marriage but sold it during the marriage and used the proceeds to buy a new vehicle shared by the spouse, that vehicle would most likely be considered marital property. Other examples of marital property include real estate, investments, pensions, retirement accounts, furniture, and others. The couple’s marital property is subject to division when the marriage ends in divorce.  

  • Separate property refers to any property that either spouse had before the marriage and property received by either spouse as an inheritance or gift before or after the marriage date. Separate property belongs to one spouse rather than both spouses and will not be subject to division unless “commingling” occurs. Commingling is when separate and marital assets are mixed together over the course of the marriage.  

It is not always obvious which assets will be considered separate or marital property during the asset division process, which is why the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney will be necessary. After marital property is identified, your attorney can then help you assess each item’s value and each spouse’s contribution to ensure a fair and equitable distribution.  

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Who Determines How Assets Are Divided?

Generally, spouses are free to come to an agreement on their own on how they want to divide their marital property by using what is known as a marital settlement agreement. This contract between the spouses is used to document the agreements made between the parties and covers not only the division of assets, but also other aspects of divorce, including child support, alimony, child custody, and others.  

However, not all married couples are able to negotiate and reach an agreement on something as complex and emotionally charged as the division of property. If that is the case, the asset division case will go to court where it will be up to the judge to decide what kind of distribution would be fair and equitable based on the unique circumstances of that couple.  

As an asset division attorney in Somerset County, New Jersey, I assist couples in both contested and uncontested cases. I can help you protect your interests in mediation and out-of-court negotiations with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. I can also advocate for you in court if need be.  

Factors Considered in Asset Division New Jersey

The equitable distribution statute in New Jersey requires courts to take into consideration a variety of different factors before a final determination is made. These factors include but are not limited to: 

  • The length of the marriage. 

  • The age of health of each spouse. 

  • Income and property brought to the marriage by each spouse. 

  • The standard of living established during the marriage. 

  • Whether any agreements were made by the parties before or after the date of the marriage (e.g., prenuptial or postnuptial agreements). 

  • The economic circumstances and income capacity of each spouse. 

  • The employment skills and work experience of each spouse. 

  • Each spouse’s contributions to the family and the property. 

  • Custodial responsibility for the children. 

Navigating the nuances of asset division may require the knowledge of an experienced divorce attorney. At Gary Blaustein, Esq, I am committed to advocating for my clients’ rights and interests throughout the asset division process.  

Asset Division Attorney in Somerset County, New Jersey

As an asset division attorney at Gary Blaustein, Esq, I strive to help people navigate the turbulent waters of divorce. I consider it to be my duty to help achieve fairness and financial security for my clients and their children. Reach out to my office in Basking Ridge, NJ, to receive comprehensive legal advice tailored to your unique situation. I offer a free, no-obligation consultation to help you get started.