During the process of divorce, it is important to be prepared and knowledgeable about everything, especially when you are dividing property and assets. New Jersey is an equitable distribution State. That means that the marital property won’t necessarily be divided equally, however, it will be divided fairly.

The process of splitting up the assets can be done amicably outside of a courtroom. If the couple cannot come to an agreement, the case may have to be litigated. The court will determine what property is marital and what is separate. Marital property is defined as anything that is received during the marriage. Separate property is anything that you had before you were married with some exceptions, such as items or assets gifted to you (other than by your spouse) or inherited during the marriage. Only marital property is divisible during divorce so it is important to clearly define for the court those which are separate and those which are marital.

After categorizing the property, the value of the marital property must be determined. Third parties, such as appraisers or forensic accountants, may need to be retained to determine the fair market value of marital assets. Once the value is determined, the court distributes it in the best way possible. When deciding how to divide the property, the court looks into a variety of things, such as: marriage length, income, present value of property, standard of living during the marriage, and more.

A judge will typically not take into consideration why the couple is divorcing when determining who gets what assets. However, allegations of dissipation of marital assets will require investigation by the court to determine if marital funds were eroded by either spouse through gambling, addiction or the like. If the court concludes that there was dissipation of assets, an uneven distribution of assets may be awarded to compensate the injured party.

At Arons & Solomon, we demand full financial disclosure from opposing parties, analyze financial records and assert our clients’ positions. We work with forensic accountants to maximize our clients’ financial outcomes. Contact us today to learn more.