For many couples facing divorce, the process of distributing assets seems daunting. Deciding to divorce proved emotionally difficult, but now possessions need to be claimed. You brought assets into the marriage that you worry a judge may split, and you wonder if your former spouse will walk away with 50 percent of your livelihood.

The state of New Jersey aims to amend the process by distributing assets fairly, rather than equally. The court analyzes multiple elements that contribute to determining your share of the divorce possessions. Know that New Jersey judges intend to resolve distribution in an impartial way for both parties.

The process of equitable distribution

The state of New Jersey conducts divorce under equitable distribution. Equitable distribution separates property by analyzing various elements of the relationship of a couple and the possessions themselves.

First, the court determines separate and marital possessions.

  • Separate property: all property acquired before or after the marriage, and some property acquired through certain avenues during the marriage
  • Marital property: all property not deemed separate

For you to claim possessions as separate property acquired during the marriage, such as a car you purchased with your own salary from your own bank account, the court may require proof.

Marital property distributed

Equitable divorce distribution consists of the splitting of only marital property. In a sense, New Jersey protects assets obtained by the individual, so that divorce proves to be a viable financial option that only splits what you and your ex-spouse shared.

Instead of splitting all marital assets entirely equally, the court may look at factors that determine health and responsibility before handing large sums of assets to each party. A court may determine to change the distribution amount for a party by looking at some or all of the following factors regarding your marriage.

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age, physical and emotional health of the parties
  • The income or property brought to the marriage by each party
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements
  • The economic circumstances of each party
  • The income capacity of each party
  • The contribution of each party by education, training or working power
  • The contribution of a party as a homemaker
  • The tax consequences of the proposed distribution
  • The present value of the property
  • Debts and liabilities

When determining the assets of you and your spouse in a divorce, New Jersey court looks at many factors before splitting possessions equally. You may take comfort in knowing that upon the conclusion of your divorce, you still hold the right to your own property.