When a couple in New Jersey decides to divorce, both parties will need to divide their marital property. This process, however, involves many factors that the courts consider before making a ruling on the equitable distribution of property, including issues related to life during the marriage and the possibilities for the future.
Factors from the life of the marriage
To reach an equitable distribution, courts first look at a couple’s life during the marriage. Courts consider each spouse’s financial and nonfinancial contributions related to acquiring property during the union, support of his or her spouse’s educational journey, as well as their standard of living during the union. Other factors include how long the couple was married, any property they owned before the union, and any prenups or postnups they signed.
Factors during the divorce
During the divorce, courts look at factors that affect the present. These include:
- The physical, emotional and financial status of each person
- The earnings capabilities for each person, how long either spouse has been absent from the job market, and how long it would take him or her to acquire training and education to get a job that supports his or her standard of living
- The value of all property at that moment
- Any debts and liabilities the couple holds
- If the custodial parent needs to continue living in the family home to support the children
Factors related to the future
Finally, courts look at the long-term effects of the division of property, including tax liabilities related to this division and the future financial needs related to the health of the spouses or the children. Additionally, courts can consider any other factors deemed relevant to the case.
Equitable division of property is a complex process focused on helping spouses begin their post-divorce lives. During this process, it is important to be honest and open about the past and the future.