What Does Equitable Distribution Mean?

When spouses get divorced, it is generally because they cannot agree on certain key issues. Therefore, it is no surprise that oftentimes, when couples get divorced, they cannot agree on its terms. If you are in a contested divorce, your assets will most likely be subject to equitable distribution. However, this seldom refers to a 50/50 split, which means that some of your most valuable assets may be at stake. Please read on and reach out to our experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to learn more about how he will fight for your right to your hard-earned assets. Here are some of the questions you may have:

How is marital property different from separate property?

When spouses divorce, their property is recognized in two categories: marital property and separate property. Essentially, marital property consists of all assets accumulated during your marriage. This can include your house, car, furniture, and more. This property is generally up for equitable distribution when spouses divorce. Separate property, on the other hand, includes property acquired before or outside of your marriage, such as inheritances or gifts. This property is generally untouchable in divorce, but there are always exceptions.

What are some of the factors that contribute to who gets what in a divorce?

Some of the most important aspects of your marriage and life that courts will consider can include you and your spouse’s age and health, the duration of your marriage, whether one spouse was financially dependent, you and your spouse’s income, your child custody terms, and more.

Is there a way to protect my assets from a divorce?

Fortunately, there are several ways in which an individual can protect themselves from the pitfalls of the equitable distribution process. For example, before marriage is official, couples may draft a prenuptial agreement that will designate which possessions and assets belong to whom in the event of a divorce. If you are already married, have no fear–you may still draft a postnuptial agreement that serves the same essential function as a prenuptial agreement.

Lastly, if you jointly own a business with your spouse, you may draft a shareholder agreement, which can outline what will happen with your business, should you get a divorce. If you are someone who is either entering the equitable distribution process, or you simply wish to draft a marital agreement with your spouse, you’ve come to the right place.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.