Equitable Distribution During a Divorce
At The Darling Law Firm we are aware that a large part of maintaining consistency in your life is maintaining your possessions, often this includes your home, and the investments you have worked so hard to achieve. A major issue in most divorces is the distribution of property and allocation of assets. Asset distribution does not have to be an exact science and the parties may agree to any distribution plan they wish, as long as both see the situation as fair given all the circumstances. We attempt to work with our clients and their spouses’ attorney to achieve the best possible asset distribution for the parties’ situation. In the event that an amicable and fair resolution is not possible then fight hard before the court to protect our client’s rights and entitlements under the legal and statutory confines.
Factors Affecting Equitable Distribution
There are a variety of factors affecting how property in New Jersey is equitably distributed. Although there are other considerations that may arise on a case by case, the following factors are considered by the court:
- Duration of the marriage;
- Age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
- Income or property brought into the marriage by each party;
- The standard of living during the marriage;
- Any written agreements made by the parties concerning property division;
- The economic circumstances of each party at the time of division;
- The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, parenting responsibilities, and time and expense necessary to obtain sufficient education and training to become self-sufficient
- Contribution of each party to the education, training or earning power of the other;
- Contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of marital property, as well as contribution as a homemaker;
- Tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party;
- Present value of the property;
- The need of the parent with physical custody of children to occupy the marital residence;
- The debts and liabilities of the parties;
- The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse or children;
- The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career goals; and
- Any other factor the court may deem relevant.
Steps in Equitable Distribution
We take the time to explain to our clients the various steps involved, classes of property including exemptions from equitable distribution and assist with issues such as the following:
- Determining which property is marital and which property is separate:Separate property is not included in the division. Marital property is property acquired during the marriage; separate property is that acquired before the marriage, by inheritance, as personal injury compensation or that deemed separate by a prenuptial agreement.
- Assessing and valuing the property
- Determining the potential tax consequences
- Determining the impact of child support and spousal support
The above issues can all affect how a party perceives the final outcome of equitable distribution.
Issues in Equitable Distribution
Each case is different, depending on the assets held and their complexity. We have handled cases involving property such as:
- Small businesses and business interests
- Pensions, retirement accounts and 401(k) disbursements
- Real estate assets, including personal and business properties
- Professional licenses and degrees
- Bonus awards, including Restricted Stock Units and Stock Options
At The Darling Law Firm we are adept at divorces involving small businesses and high net worth situations. We are able to assist either the business owner or spouse through the complex issues of valuation, forensic accounting and continuity of the business after the divorce. We have capabilities to identify off-shore transfers of assets, shelters and other means by which high net worth individuals attempt to hide funds.
The Aftermath of Equitable Distribution
We help our clients prepare for the future. Divorcing spouses with children need, long after their marriage is over, to respect each other as parents. In addition to divorce and equitable division of property, our attorneys assist our clients with a variety of domestic relations matters, including custody, grandparent custody, stepparent adoption, modification of existing orders and protection from abuse.
Equitable Distribution in Northern NJ
In order to serve clients throughout Northern New Jersey we have offices in Morris County and Bergen County, New Jersey. We serve clients in Morris, Sussex, Warren, Bergen, Pasaic Union, Hudson and Essex Counties. The Darling Law Firm is your Northern, NJ Equitable Distribution law firm.
If you are visiting this webpage, now is the time to call 862-251-6821 today to schedule an initial consultation and protect your rights. If you are unable to visit our offices, for your convenience we are willing to schedule telephone conferences with payment by credit card or Paypal at or before the time of service.
Forms of payment accepted: Cash, check, traveler’s check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, money order and Paypal.