Making the transition from married to divorced can be challenging for many reasons, including the financial obstacles that come with such a transition.
With this in mind, knowing what you will be able to keep in your divorce can be a top priority. While every case is different, there are some things you can likely keep in your divorce.
Equitable share of your marital assets
In accordance with New Jersey property division laws, each spouse should receive an equitable portion of the marital estate upon divorce. This means that the assets (and debts) accumulated during your marriage will be divided between you and your soon-to-be ex fairly.
The word “fairly” can mean different things to different people, though. Generally speaking, it means that property may not be divided 50/50, but each spouse should be on fairly equal financial footing after the divorce. You will not get everything in your divorce, but you won’t lose everything, either.
Property identified in a prenuptial agreement
Separate property is not eligible for distribution. It is property owned by one person, often as a result of premarital ownership. However, confusion can arise when separate property becomes marital property through efforts like comingling of assets.
A prenuptial agreement, if a valid one exists, can protect separate property to shield it from division. A prenup may also give direction on factors like alimony and specific property allocation.
Gifts and inheritances
While most property accumulated during a marriage becomes part of the marital estate, gifts from third parties and inheritances are exceptions as long as they are given to just one person.
In other words, if you received an inheritance from your grandmother or your parents gave you a substantial monetary gift while you were married, it will stay with you – as long as you did not deposit into a joint account or use it to buy, maintain or support marital property.
This should give readers some idea of what to expect from the property division process in New Jersey.
However, understand that most cases are complicated, particularly when there are substantial or complex assets involved. Working with an attorney can prove to be a valuable decision in pursuing and securing the fair settlement you deserve.