Yes, New Jersey is a 50/50 divorce state. That means marital property is divided equally in the case of a divorce, without any special consideration for who owns what property.
When parties divorce in New Jersey, their assets are distributed based on equitable distribution laws rather than community or common laws. Equitable distribution laws do not consider who owns a particular asset but allocate assets based on how much each spouse contributed to that asset.
New Jersey is considered to be an equitable distribution state. This means that all marital assets are subject to fair (unbiased) division between spouses during divorce proceedings. While there is no set standard for equitable distribution, it does require judges to consider several factors when deciding how it should be divided. These factors include:
- Length of the marriage
- Marital misconduct (both physical and mental)
- Age, health, and physical condition at the time of divorce
- Each spouse’s ability to maintain their current standard of living after divorce
- If the marriage has produced any minor children, an appropriate amount of child support and custody should be determined
- The value of no marital property acquired during the marriage (in other words: “acquired during the marriage” and not before)
- Which party made a more significant contribution to marital assets (this would be either the husband or wife who helped earn marital assets, manage it, and was not at fault for its loss)
- During the marriage, the couple’s standard of living.
- A lump-sum award (basically a one-time payment of a certain amount of money before a final decision is made)
- Any other factor deemed just and equitable
To help avoid a lengthy and costly divorce process, many couples choose to reach a prenuptial agreement before marrying. It allows married couples to determine what will happen in a divorce while both are still single and can make important decisions independently.
Division of Assets: A 50/50 Breakdown
If the marriage was short-term or one person played a prominent role in managing marital assets, the court may decide it is only fair to split all purchases equally between both parties. Otherwise, if children are involved, and one spouse spent years of hard work building up an asset (like their professional career), the other party may receive a more significant percentage of assets than 50/50.
If you and your spouse are currently going through a divorce, do not hesitate to speak with an attorney who can help you go over any acquired assets during the marriage and discuss their value as it relates to equitable distribution. After a divorce, an experienced divorce lawyer could assist you in obtaining a fair distribution of assets.
New Jersey has one of the highest rates of divorce in the United States. The state’s high rate is attributed to its 50/50 divorce law, which states that if both spouses agree on a legal separation or divorce, they can do it without going before a judge. While this may sound like an attractive option because it saves money and time, there are some drawbacks worth considering first. To know more, get in touch with a Family law attorney in New Jersey.