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Divorce and the present economy

Divorce and the present economy

Due to the rapid flucutations in stock market and housing prices over the recent years, the valuation of property for the purposes of equitable distribution in matrimonial actions has become somewhat more difficult. The value used to be determined as of the date the complaint for divorce was filed. That does still hold true. However, the speed with which fluctuations in the markets have occurred make it likely that the value of real estate and securities will change substantially between the time the complaint is filed and the items are in fact sold. In light of this situtation, recently in Rendine v. Rendine, the New Jersey Appellate Division determined that the values used in negotiation of a property settlement agreement were to be upheld rather than the values existing at the time of sale, when a party waitied a substantial time to sell the marital residence and a significant decrease in value was the result. Once an agreement is reached between the parties which is the best possible resolution for each at the time, both parties should carry out the terms of that agreement quickly in order not to be damaged by market fluctuations.

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