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Distribution of Marital Property
Marriage is an economic contract and economic partnership. Everything you and your spouse buy or acquire during the marriage is legally owned by the two of you and is marital property. It makes no difference in whose name you buy or acquire an asset. It does not matter whose money was used to purchase the asset.
Most states have equitable distribution laws. The only exceptions, as of this writing are Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and Washington State which have community property laws. Laws are constantly being changed and updated so consult your attorney to confirm the law in your state. In community property states, property distribution is a 50/50 split. In equitable distribution states the Court determines a fair, reasonable and equitable distribution which may be more than or less than 50% of any asset to either party.
The equitable distribution law in New Jersey is similar to most equitable distribution states. New Jersey law directs the Court to consider fifteen factors in determining what is an equitable, fair and just division of assets. They are:
Based on these factors the Court can award a wife anywhere from zero to 100% of each marital asset and the same for the husband. Most of the time the Court awards anywhere from 40% to 60%.
The only exceptions are the following property if kept separate:
The Court will order equitable distribution of all property acquired during the marriage. What are some of the assets commonly distributed?
The Court not only orders equitable distribution of marital property but also marital liabilities and debt. What is marital debt?
Equitable Distribution - Important Points to Remember
New Jersey has five types of spousal support. Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term monetary award that allows a spouse to go back to school or obtain training to re-enter the workforce. Limited duration alimony is awarded in cases of a short marriage when rehabilitative alimony doesn't apply. Reimbursement alimony is awarded when one spouse makes a personal sacrifice so that the other spouse could receive professional or career training. Alimony pendente lite is awarded when a divorce is pending so that both parties can maintain their current standard of living until a final judgment is made. Finally, there is permanent alimony which is usually appropriate in long term marriages and typically terminates upon the death of either party or remarriage.
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