How is property divided in a divorce?

When a couple begins a divorce, one of the first things they want to know is “who gets what?” Each side is going to want to walk away with as much of their personal belongings as possible, even those that may be clearly the property of their spouse. In a divorce, property is divided through the equitable distribution process. However, before the equitable distribution process can begin, the court will have to determine what is actually marital property and what is separate property.

Marital property in a divorce is all of the property that was acquired throughout the course of the marriage. However, any property that was acquired before the couple actually got married is considered separate property. Property not only consists of assets, it also includes debts. This may include student loans, credit card debts, etc., that were acquired prior to the time the couple was married.

Once the court has determined which assets are marital property, they can start the equitable distribution process. Equitable distribution means that the assets and liabilities will be distributed equitably, but not always equally. The court will consider factors such as age, health, tax consequences, income, contribution to property, economic fault, and more when dividing the assets and liabilities. If the couple is getting divorced through mediation or alternative dispute resolution, they are permitted to divide their assets and debts amongst themselves. If any property is contested, they can have their mediator step in and help find a solution.

If you have questions about how your property will be divided in a divorce, speak with an experienced divorce attorney today.

If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your New Jersey legal matters, contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.