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Having high income or substantial assets can lead to a more comfortable married life for you and your spouse. Unfortunately, those same assets and income will probably complicate your divorce proceedings if you choose to separate.

You and your spouse likely have strong opinions about who should get what and what you think is fair given your family circumstances. It is natural to want to protect your assets and resources when you head into a divorce.

However, before you make any big decisions or start to take steps to protect yourself, you may want to sit down and discuss your situation with someone familiar with the family law in New Jersey. Otherwise, you might fall victim to one of the more common financial mistakes that people can make in a divorce. 

Hiding or wasting assets to keep them from your spouse can change the outcome

To some people, the potential of splitting their assets with their spouse is distasteful. They might go to extreme lengths to reduce the marital estate and how much their spouse gets in the divorce. Some people will open hidden bank accounts or otherwise try to hide marital assets so that the courts can’t divide them.

Other people will seek to diminish the marital estate by spending a significant amount of money on credit cards or by using up family savings accounts in a spending spree. If your spouse can prove that you hid or dissipated marital assets, the courts could adjust how they divide your property to reflect the amount that you wasted or hid.

Focus on keeping the marital home instead of getting a share of its value

The house is often the asset that couples argue the most about. After all, it represents a substantial amount of money. However, just because your spouse keeps the house doesn’t mean you lose all of the investments you’ve made in it.

The courts will likely award other assets to you to offset your share of the home’s equity or order your spouse to refinance the property and give you a fair share of the property’s value. Although some people want to retain the house for personal reasons, for many people, keeping the home is more about feeling like they won in the divorce. That kind of focus can set you up for decisions that won’t benefit you in the long run.