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Equitable distribution in a New Jersey divorce

In the state of New Jersey, the courts use equitable distribution to divide property in a divorce.

It may be beneficial to understand the effects of this type of distribution of property in a New Jersey divorce.

A fair split

Marriage usually allows a couple to live at a higher means than they did as single individuals. Even when one spouse works and the other stays at home, the nonworking spouse can still contribute to the home and general way of living that benefits both parties. Therefore, when the two parties embark upon the divorce process, the court believes it best to divide the assets in a way that allows both parties to walk away with an equal style of living. For this reason, New Jersey subscribes to equitable distribution during the divorce process.

By definition

There are two main types of marital property division: community property and equitable division. While community property division divides marital property equally among the two parties, equitable division focuses on creating a fair division of property. To accomplish this, the court considers several factors and determines how to best divide the property so that both parties walk away with a fair amount.  

Considerations for distribution

Key aspects that the court considers when determining the distribution of marital assets may include the following:

  • Spouse economic standing
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Separate property value
  • Contributions to marital property

Since divorces situations vary, the court may consider other factors on a case-by-case basis. To this end, it is important for parties to provide proper evidence showing their contributions to the relationship, and their standing before and during the marriage.

Though the court makes the ultimate decision of the division of property in court, understanding the aspects of an equitable distribution may help a couple in preparing for the divorce process. If spouses are on good terms, mediation may be another option to consider, but the distribution must still be fair for the court to instate it.

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