Bergen County Property Division Lawyer
The division of assets and debts can be one of the most stressful parts of a divorce. If you need help, the Bergen County property division lawyers at Arons & Solomon are here for you. Contact our office today at (201) 487-1199 so that we can listen to your story and help you start the division of assets.
Our team of experienced family law attorneys will happily discuss your case with you, listen to what’s most important to you, and come up with a plan to get you optimal results.
We have experienced New Jersey property division lawyers who give personal attention to every case. You will be connected directly to a lawyer when you call our offices. At Arons & Solomon, our practice is focused on family law. We make sure we have the ability to take our time on each case by keeping our caseload selective.
Give our law office a call today to arrange a free consultation.
How Arons & Solomon Can Help You Divide Property in Your Bergen County Divorce
At Arons & Solomon, we have 150+ years of collective experience crafting divorce settlements in New Jersey.
Our Bergen County divorce attorneys are skilled in mediation, arbitration, and litigation techniques.
We can help you achieve the results you deserve in your division of property case. We can be as assertive or amicable as the situation dictates. We are capable of supporting clients through a collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce is used when parties wish to cooperate and are willing to agree to full transparency. We can help you and your former spouse come to an agreement if a low-conflict and private division of assets is preferred.
Through our years of experience, we learned that it is best for our clients to have a professional divorce team. Since each case is unique, you may only need some of these professionals. In cases involving one or both spouses with a high net worth, issues such as hiding assets may arise. In these situations, we may work with a forensic specialist to identify or locate hidden assets.
If you choose Arons & Solomon to help you with your property division, you can expect us to skillfully navigate the process with you.
Some ways we do this include:
- Evaluating financial statements to identify assets subject to equitable distribution
- Working with experts like accountants and private investigators to capture the full value of marital assets
- Insisting on full financial disclosure from the other party
- Developing flexible settlement options that meet the needs of your case
When division of property cases become contentious and high conflict, you need a team that helps you get all of the marital property to which you are entitled.
We also have experience with property division cases involving pre-nuptial agreements. If you want us to evaluate your pre-nuptial agreement and discuss how it might impact the division of your marital property, get in touch with our office.
Our Property Division Lawyers Are Available Across Bergen County
Arons & Solomon is proud to represent clients across North Jersey and Bergen County, including:
- Franklin Lakes
- Upper Saddle River
- Old Tappan
- Saddle River
Don’t hesitate to give our law offices, conveniently located in Hackensack, NJ and Madison, NJ, a call to get started on your property division case today.
Overview of New Jersey Property Division Law
During and after a divorce, we want our clients to be prepared and knowledgeable about the division of assets in New Jersey.
New Jersey follows the law of equitable distribution of marital assets.
That means the debts and assets are divided fairly, even if that means they are divided unequally.
The division of assets can be done by agreement outside of the courtroom. If it is not possible to agree on a fair division of assets and debts, the case will be litigated, and the court will decide.
The court will consider the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement, if one exists, and will apply the terms if the agreement is legally valid.
When the court undertakes a division of assets in New Jersey, it will:
- Categorize the assets and debt as marital or separate
- Determine the value of the assets and debt
- Distribute the assets and debt fairly
To make its decision about what distribution is fair, the court considers several factors. Among these factors are the length of the marriage, both spouses’ incomes, the present value of the property, and the standard of living during the marriage.
How Courts Categorize the Assets and Debt of a Marriage in New Jersey
During a divorce, only marital property is subject to division. So, the court must first categorize the assets and debt as marital or separate.
Property and debt that a spouse brings into the marriage are that spouse’s separate property and debt, respectively. Things gifted to one spouse only or inherited by a spouse during the marriage are also classified as separate property.
Some common separate property includes furniture or cars owned by either spouse prior to the marriage. Of course, student loans incurred by a spouse before the marriage are the separate debt of that spouse.
Anything received during the marriage is categorized as marital property. Likewise, any debts incurred by the spouses during the marriage would be marital debt. In some cases, if the debt was incurred entirely for the benefit of one spouse, a skilled property division attorney may be able to argue that a debt incurred during the marriage should be categorized as a separate debt.
Valuation of Marital Property
Some assets have an easily identifiable value.
These include liquid assets like:
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Retirement accounts (401(k)s, IRAs)
- Securities or investment accounts
For the court to determine the value of these marital assets, all that’s necessary is a recent statement reflecting the account balance.
Other assets are not so easily valued but can still be valued with agreed-upon benchmarks. This includes automobiles that are listed in Kelley Blue Book, for example.
However, substantial assets like real estate, jewelry, art, or other collectibles, may need to be valued by a professional.
A professional who is willing to testify in court as to their professional opinion is called an expert witness. When dividing assets requires an expert witness, we work with appraisers to value homes and other valuable assets.
Unfortunately, deception about the existence of valuable assets can be a problem in high net worth divorces. If you suspect your spouse is diverting, dissipating, or hiding marital assets, we can engage a forensic accountant to trace down the funds or assets.
It makes sense that most people think marital property is divided equally, 50/50, or right down the middle.
But in New Jersey and many other states, that’s not true.
In New Jersey and other states that use equitable distribution, courts divide property in a way that’s fair, even if it is not even. Under New Jersey law, the court will consider the following factors when deciding how to distribute marital assets and debt:
- Each party’s financial situation, including their separate debts
- Each party’s income earning capacity, including their premarital assets
- The length of the marriage, the lifestyle of the marriage, and value of the marital property
- Both parties’ age and health
If there are children of the marriage, the court will also consider the needs of a custodial parent, including the need to reserve funds for medical or educational needs of a child or either spouse.
Other considerations that may impact the court’s decision about distributing property relate to the personal circumstances of the spouses.
The court may use these factors when deciding how to allocate assets and debt:
- The contribution by each party to the education, training, or earning capacity of the other
- Each party’s contribution to the increase or decrease of the marital property
- Each party’s contribution as a homemaker, and whether they deferred career goals
- Tax consequences to each party of the proposed property distribution
These factors highlight the balancing function of equitable distribution. Although one spouse may have earned the majority of the marital assets, New Jersey law recognizes the essential function of the spouse who deferred their education or career to support the family at home.
These factors are not of equal weight in the court’s balancing. We can help you frame the issues in your case so that the court is aware of your contributions to the marriage.
Contact Our Bergen County Property Division Lawyers for Help
At Arons & Solomon, we set expectations for our clients so you will have structure and know what to expect from the process. We will provide you with personal one-on-one guidance throughout your divorce and as we discuss dividing marital assets. Contact our law firm today for a personal discussion with one of our experienced Bergen County property division lawyers.