Protecting Your Assets During Marital Property Division
Dissolving a relationship can present many difficult issues to resolve, especially in regard to dividing property. At Tournour Law, our attorney has been helping clients in East Brunswick with their divorce disputes, including asset protection and property disputes, for over 20 years.
What Is Marital Property?
The court divides the property into two categories during divorce proceedings: marital and separate. Marital property includes all property earned or acquired during the marriage. Separate property is property owned before marriage or after filing for divorce. Separate property also includes gifts and inheritances received by only one spouse during the marriage but does not include gifts between spouses. The distinction between marital and separate property is important because the court cannot give the separate property of one spouse to the other spouse. All marital property, however, must be divided.
Types of property typically divided include the family home, jewelry, motor vehicles, income, dividends, retirement benefits, stock options and lottery winnings. Debts are included as well and need to be characterized as marital or separate.
How Is Marital Property Divided In Divorce?
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that the marital property will be divided in a way that is equitable, or fair, but not necessarily equal. There are various factors that the court considers in making a determination about the marital property division. These factors can include:
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Any existing agreement for property settlement
- Current property value
- Debts and liabilities of each spouse
- Earning capacity and income of each spouse
- The economic situation of each spouse at the time of property division
- The contributions of each spouse to the increase or decrease of marital property (includes contributions by a homemaker)
- Contributions by one spouse for the other spouse’s training, education or earning power
- The need to cover educational or medical costs for a child or spouse
- Other relevant factors (does not include fault for causing the end of the marriage)
Determining The Division Of Marital Property
Although a judge can decide how much weight to put on each factor, typically, the length of the marriage and the marital standard of living are the biggest influences. There are many ways that different assets and debts of the marriage can be divided. One spouse could get 0 percent and the other could get 100 percent of each marital asset or debt. However, divisions usually fall somewhere between 40 and 60 percent. The overall asset and debt distribution only need to be equitable, not equal.
Our attorney, Frank Tournour, is a certified matrimonial law lawyer with 30 years of experience and a proven track record of success helping clients navigate the difficult process of divorce and marital property division.
It is important for the parties in a divorce proceeding to obtain the services of a qualified divorce attorney. An experienced lawyer can prepare for the complexities that a judge may consider. Even determining the value of a business or a retirement pension can become an issue during a divorce, especially in situations involving alimony. In addition, if the parties have children who are minors, property division becomes more important because it can affect the quality of lifestyle of the children and the amount of child support owed.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help You
Divorce can be a very difficult time for everyone involved, and the cases can become extremely complicated. It is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Frank Tournour of Tournour Law is a certified matrimonial law attorney with a proven track record of success helping clients navigate the difficult process of divorce and marital property division. He can provide expert, compassionate legal advice and will aggressively fight for your rights. If you do not wish to seek a court award, he can also help you divide property through mediation.
Retain Expert Legal Counsel Today
Call us today at 732-913-3634 or email us to retain and receive tireless, dedicated legal counsel today. Attorney Tournour can help you protect your assets and navigate any property disputes in your divorce.