Some Common Issues with Equitable Distribution
When a couple has decided to terminate their relationship through a divorce, there are many decisions that must be made before the final Judgment of Divorce may be entered. One of the most common points of contention involves the distribution of property. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that the division of property must be fair, but does not necessarily have to be equal. There are some issues that regularly complicate the process of determining who gets what.
- Pre-marital property is commingled with marital property – As many couples get married after acquiring property on their own, there are many issues surrounding property that was brought into the marriage. When this property is sold and the proceeds of the sale used to acquire marital property, there may be dispute about how the acquired property should be divided. This scenario often plays out with one person selling a house that he or she purchased before the marriage and using the proceeds of the sale to acquire a marital residence. It becomes a question of fairness in determining how this will be divided;
- A small business or family business operated by one spouse – When one spouse has contributed time and energy to making the business a success, it may not be fair to divide the property equally. This becomes even more complex when one person provided non-marital assets to support the business and the other spouse contributed sweat equity.
- One spouse inherited property during the marriage – It is fairly common for one person to inherit property from a family member or loved one during a marriage. That property is considered separate, or non-marital, property and generally is not subject to equitable distribution. However, there are many situations where the inheritance is used to acquire marital property, therefore, commingling the funds. This often leads to conflict about how the marital property should be divided. For the person whose inheritance was used to acquire the marital property, it may only seem fair that he or she received the marital asset, or at least receive a larger share of the property.
These are just a few of the many problems that may arise during the division of property. Many people start down the road of representing themselves in a divorce action and then discover that what is fair and equitable to one person is different from the perspective of the other person. An experienced and skilled New Jersey Family Law Attorney can help you navigate through the common issues involved with equitable distribution, as well as the other aspects of divorce.
The Bronzino Law Firm Guides Its Clients through the Divorce Process
New Jersey Family Law Attorney Peter J. Bronzino focuses on getting his clients a fair outcome when they are going through the stress of a divorce. The Bronzino Law Firm is located in Brick, New Jersey. We serve clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, and the surrounding area. If you have questions about obtaining a divorce in New Jersey, enforcing parental rights, or modifying a previously entered order, schedule a free consultation by calling us toll free at (732) 812-3102.