Division of Assets Include More Than Just Property

Written By Gary J. Natale

Growing up, you may have heard your parents say the old phrase “Fair doesn’t always mean equal.” In regards to the division of property in the case of divorce, the same adage often applies. In the state of New Jersey, for example, the state allows for ‘equitable distribution‘, which is essentially accounting for the marital assets and then dividing those assets in a manner that is fair, but not necessarily equal.

How Does Division Of Property Work?

The catch is understanding that the division of assets includes more than just property – it applies to any asset acquired during the marriage and will thus be counted as part of the marital estate. This qualifies a wide number of things that aren’t usually considered at first glance to be a part of a marital estate. The time denoted by the term ‘During the marriage’ is usually considered to be the period of time that begins the day of the wedding ceremony and ends the day that the divorce complaint was filed. With a few exceptions, anything asset acquired by either spouse in that period is considered part of the martial estate and thus subject to division.

What Assets Are Considered?

Marital assets may include certain gifts, investment accounts, interest in a family business, bank accounts, stock, furniture, retirement assets, cars and even personal property. Keep in mind that holding a title in one spouse’s name doesn’t necessarily protect it from being counted in the estate if it was acquired during the marriage. Now, as a general rule, any property acquired prior to the marriage is to be kept separate from the division of assets, but there are exceptions that need to be considered.

Counsel From An Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you have questions or need help in accurately identifying which assets should be included in a marital estate for the division of those assets, our team at the Law Office of Gary J. Natale in West Orange can provide you with the legal clarity you need to ensure the fair division of those assets. You may contact us online here or simply call 973.324.9711.