During a divorce, a couple’s property and financial assets are divided. To accomplish the division of property, spouses will meet to develop a property division plan with the help of a divorce attorney in Paterson, NJ. If no agreement can be reached, the court will mandate the division of property instead so the divorce can proceed.
Division of Property Outside of Court
Throughout the divorce process, you and your family law attorney will have the opportunity to meet with your spouse and his attorney outside of the courtroom to lay out a plan for the division of your property and assets. If you and your spouse are able to agree upon a property settlement during these meetings, you may submit the written settlement to the court as part of your divorce to avoid the division of your property by the court.
Division of Property by the Court
When one or both spouses cannot agree to an out-of-court property settlement, the court will divide your property instead. Court-mandated property division pertains to marital property only, which is property acquired or received during your marriage. Property owned prior to marriage or gifts from individuals other than your spouse is considered separate property and not divided by the court. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will attempt to divide property between divorcing spouses in an equitable or fair way. However, equitable property division does not mean that property will be divided equally. During property division, the court will take into account factors such as the length of the marriage, the health and age of each spouse, the income each spouse brought to the marriage, and the standard of living established during the marriage. Pre- and postnuptial agreements will also be considered, as well as each spouse’s expected income and potential earning capacity after the marriage has been ended.
If you are considering divorce, it’s important to also consider the division of your property. Your divorce attorney can help you reach a property settlement outside of court to ensure you receive the settlement that is best for you.