As in other states, in New Jersey most types of assets that either spouse acquires during marriage become joint marital property.
From your home and personal property to savings, investments and retirement accounts, the marital assets you currently share with your spouse may be subject to equitable distribution when you divorce.
What does “equitable distribution” mean?
If you and your future ex cannot agree on how to divide your property, the court will determine how to distribute your marital assets. However, a judge may not divide your shared estate equally. Rather, he or she may award a larger portion to you or to your spouse depending on what the law deems fair, or equitable.
What factors might influence asset division?
The specific circumstances of your marriage, your children’s needs and your separate resources may all come into play when a judge decides how to distribute shared assets. Examples of factors that may influence asset division include:
- The length of the marriage
- Economic and non-economic contributions made to the marriage and family by either spouse
- Age, income, education levels, and work experience of each spouse
- The nature of future parenting/custody arrangements
What if we agree on how to divide assets?
If you and your spouse can agree on how to divide property, you may be able to avoid a court-ordered distribution by choosing an uncontested divorce. With an uncontested divorce, you can submit a joint property settlement agreement to the court. However, a judge must approve the agreement for it to be legally valid.