Tag: Toms River Marital Assets Equitable Distribution and Property Valuation Attorney
Divorce and Property Division Handled with Professional and Experienced Knowledge
Providing Professional Divorce Advice on How Property is Split in Ocean and Monmouth County Areas
In late 2020, the Institute for Family Studies found that out of every 1,000 marriages that last one year, 14.9 ends in divorce. This statistic was seen as a promising one, as it marked a 50-year low in national divorce rates. However, though the numbers of divorces seem to be declining at a national level, divorce is still quite prevalent. When one or both spouses decide to file for divorce, they are setting up an extensive process to end the legal contract of marriage, which includes the division of marital assets. For each spouse to fairly receive the assets that are justly theirs, the support of a skilled and experienced team of family law attorneys is essential. A skilled divorce attorney knows how the division of property and marital assets is handled at the New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part level, where divorces and custody arrangements are heard. Read on to learn more about how New Jersey Superior Courts handle property division in a divorce.
Community Property Model vs. Equitable Distribution Model
Marital assets are divided according to one of two different models, depending on the state. Some states use the community property model, which evenly divides property and assets between spouses without exception. The community property model is a direct split. However, most states, including New Jersey, follow the equitable distribution model of dividing property and other assets. While the equitable distribution model offers a fair division of assets, it does not necessarily offer an even division of assets. The Superior Court: Family Part is responsible for handling New Jersey divorce and custody agreements and reviews various factors to determine how to most equitably divides assets. While the Superior Court judge is a fair representative of justice in the New Jersey court system, there are many ways to divide assets that require the judge’s subjective determination in the review of the applicable factors. As such, you must have a skilled and experienced divorce attorney representing your rights and your claim to your fair share of the marital assets throughout the divorce process.
What is considered in the equitable splitting of marital assets?
Marital assets are those assets that were shared by the spouses. They could include the marital home, land, autos, savings, and investments, among other shared sites both parties own marital assets, and both have a claim to their shared value when the couple decides to split. Separate assets or properties, on the other hand, are not owned by both spouses. They include assets that one spouse owned before the marriage or a spouse obtained during the marriage from an inheritance or another gift. Inheritances received during the marriage are not shared unless they are invested in a joint venture, at which point the other spouse may have a claim to part. Again, these grey lines in the division of marital and separate properties and assets are why it is important to have the support of a skilled family law attorney during this nuanced process.
A judge will consider the itemized list of marital assets and take the following considerations into account when determining how to justly and equitably divide them:
- Is there a standing legal prenuptial agreement that addresses the division of assets in the case of divorce?
- What was the duration of the marriage?
- What was the status quo, or the standard of living, experienced by the couple during the marriage? The judge will attempt to help each partner maintain that standard of living in divorce by dividing assets to support that or assigning payment of alimony by the breadwinning spouse.
- How many assets did each partner bring into the marital home at the start of the marriage?
- How many assets and financial contributions did each partner bring to the marital home throughout the marriage?
- How was financial support established throughout the marriage for one partner to pursue education, a profession, or stay at home to raise a family? Did one partner provide financial support for the other’s professional growth, or did one partner sacrifice their career to raise the family?
- What is each spouse’s state, physically and mentally? Do funds need to be legally set aside to provide support, such as a trust?
- Is it necessary to set up a trust for any children of the marriage?
To ensure that your rights are upheld in a divorce, it is imperative that you seek the support of a qualified family law attorney.
Contact our Divorce Attorney for a confidential consultation
Highly skilled divorce and family law attorney Peter Bronzino, Esq, has the knowledge and extensive experience to assist you with all manner of concerns amidst the divorce process, including the appropriate distributing of your assets. With local offices in Brick, NJ, we regularly assist clients throughout Monmouth and Ocean County areas, including Berkeley, Spring Lake, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Manchester, and Middletown.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our firm today regarding your family financial support issues, please send us a message or call (732) 812-3102 to speak to an attorney who can help.
Whether you file for divorce or civil union dissolution, marital property is divided in New Jersey by “equitable distribution.” High-net worth couple or not, complex assets such as real estate holdings, investment portfolios, retirement accounts, and family businesses and business partnerships need to first be accurately valued, then separated into marital and private ownership, and only then can they be divided according to New Jersey equitable distribution laws. Rather than an equal 50-50 split, the marital assets are divided in a manner that is fair but not necessarily equal. The valuation and asset division after the “discovery phase,” will provide the financial basis for child support, child custody, alimony and spousal support, and determine if there are any hidden assets.
At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC we have invaluable experience helping clients to understand the property at issue, and how to legally secure what is rightfully theirs. By regularly communicating with clients in a straightforward and informative manner, we can establish what marital property is a priority to you, and how to effectively negotiate for that property.
Call our Sea Girt or Brick, NJ office today at (732) 812-3102 to speak with our legal team in a free and confidential consultation, regarding the division of your assets and how we can best assist you and your family.
When is the Value of Marital Property Assessed in Sea Girt, NJ?
Historically, the date the divorce petition is filed is the date used for the purpose of valuing assets acquired during the marriage for equitable distribution. If the asset gains or loses value due to fluctuating market conditions, this gain or loss will affect both parties when the asset is sold or distributed.
In accordance with NJ Rev Stat § 2a:34-23, the court distributes property after using a 3-step process:
- Determine which property is to be distributed
- Determine the value of the marital property; and
- Calculate an equitable division of that property.
Will the business I owned in Jackson, NJ prior to my marriage be included in the equitable distribution?
Businesses that were originally owned by one spouse prior to the marriage can make resolving this complex issue challenging. Generally, any property owned by a husband, wife, or same-sex partner before their wedding day remains separate property or an “immune asset” upon divorce and considered not vulnerable to division.
As seen in Painter v. Painter, 65 N.J. 196, 214, Valentino v. Valentino, 309 N.J. Super 334, 338, and Wasserman v. Schwartz, 361 N.J. Super 399, 411, if a party fails to prove an asset is immune from equitable distribution, said property will be designated as a marital asset subject to division.
In oft cited Valentino v. Valentino, the court ruled that once a spouse proves that a particular asset, is separate and immune from division, any gain in value of that particular asset during the period of marriage is also immune, UNLESS the other spouse can prove that the increase itself in some way due to efforts on his or her part.
Can A Prenup Protect My Pre-Marriage Assets in Manasquan, NJ?
The highly contested disputes in a divorce are related to property and asset division and having a prenuptial agreement carefully crafted by an experienced Ocean County prenuptial agreement attorney can prevent some of the most contentious aspects of any divorce, and save both parties time, money, and stress. While prenuptial agreements and other marital agreements have traditionally handled more material assets, in recent years prenuptial agreements have progressively begun to address more modern concepts related to things like:
- Intellectual Property
- Social Media Platforms
- Pet Custody
CONTACT AN OCEAN COUNTY, NJ EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION ATTORNEY TODAY
The family law firm of Peter J. Bronzino has extensive experience helping clients across Ocean and Monmouth Counties, including Brick, Jackson, Toms River, and Point Pleasant, to negotiate, draft, and finalize marital property division agreements which are both fair and protects the assets they care most about. By consulting with qualified and trusted financial experts, we help to properly evaluate complex marital assets, investments, accounts, and debts, thus helping us to draft a settlement which protects our clients’ rights and future.
Our small size allows us to develop personal and attentive relationships with our clients, while at the same time letting us charge fair and reasonable rates for our services. We believe that honest and regular communication with our clients is the best way of ensuring they are informed and involved in the legal process, and that we are negotiating for the things they care most about in their marital property division agreement.
To speak with our family law team in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce and any issues or concerns you may have, please contact us online or through either our Sea Girt or Brick office at (732) 812-3102 today.