A family court judge is often asked to make decisions on behalf of a pair of spouses who disagree about settlement issues. Every state has its own property division guidelines. No two couples settle a divorce in exactly the same way. It helps to be as prepared as possible before heading to court regarding the rules that govern asset division.
Marital Property Versus Separate Property
Any assets that a spouse acquired before marriage is considered non-marital property, otherwise referred to as separate property. For instance, if a person purchases a car in his or her name, then gets married, the vehicle is typically not subject to marital property division because it is separately owned. If a spouse purchases a car during marriage but does not put his or her spouse’s name on the title, it is still generally considered marital property.
Before a fair settlement can be achieved, a fully disclosure of all marital versus nonmarital property must be exchanged by the parties. It is also important to note that a fair (or equitable) division of property does not necessarily mean that the court will split assets equally between the spouses. It merely means that the court will determine how to divide the value of all marital property in question in a way that is fair to both parties.
Protecting Financial Interests in a Divorce
It is common for complex property division issues to arise in divorce, especially if spouses disagree on a specific matter. To protect one’s financial interests, it is helpful to consult with a financial adviser and to act alongside an attorney who is well-versed in New Jersey divorce litigation issues. The more a person learns ahead of time about the rules of property division in this state, the better able he or she will be to ensure a fair settlement.