Determining which spouse will retain certain property after divorce can be a very sensitive issue among divorcing couples. Additionally, if the parties do agree, it is best to have a divorce lawyer review any agreements to protect you from issues that may arise in the future and to be sure that all assets have been addressed.
Community, Separate, and Combined Property
Property will fall into one of three categories consisting of community property, separate property, or property purchased with a combination of separate and community funds. Community property is property that was acquired during the marriage with earnings during the marriage. This is when it is difficult to discern who the property truly belongs to after the marriage. Many factors can be weighed to determine which spouse should stay with the community property after divorce.
Separate property is property that was either purchased by only one spouse, the title is only in the name of one spouse, or the property was purchased by one spouse prior to the marriage. This property will usually remain within the name of the spouse to whom it belongs or to the spouse who purchased it prior to the marriage.
Property purchased, with a combination of one spouse’s funds and community funds, can become more complicated. One spouse must be able to show that his or her own separate funds were used in order lay claim to the property over the other spouse. This property will become community property unless one spouse can make a convincing argument as to why it should belong to them.
New Jersey is an Equitable Distribution State
Since New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, the judge will look at the total value of the property in the marriage and divide them up fairly. This does not necessarily mean the assets will be divided up equally, but rather in a fair and equitable manner given the couple’s situation. Certain states are community property states and look at all the property in the marriage as community property unless one spouse can show otherwise. The court will divide the assets equally in that situation.
The discussion of who will keep the marital home is one of great importance. If children are involved, normally the spouse who will spend the most time with the children will be entitled to keep the house. If there are no children, then other factors will apply, and the court will look at the name that appears on the title of the property and other family considerations, such as whether the house was inherited by one spouse during the marriage.
Moorestown Divorce Lawyers at Hartman Group LLC Help Clients Work Through All Factors of Divorce
Although dividing assets during divorce can be stressful, the Moorestown divorce lawyers at Hartman Group LLC can help make the process more clear. We are in Moorestown, New Jersey, and we serve clients from many counties in southern New Jersey. Call us at 856-235-4511 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.