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Property Division
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While their separation may be mentally exhausting due to the loss of a once good friend, it can begin to get even more tiresome after the parties begin to divide their personal property. While some of this property may be easy to divide, one of the most difficult items often fought over is the engagement ring given its emotional tie to the relationship.
Many couples cannot discuss money as easily as they can discuss their children’s welfare. Of course parents love their children, but they can be more emotional about their money. Maybe because they think that they will still get to be with their children but not get to be with their money?
A lot of people feel stuck when it comes to dividing up the assets and monies during divorce. One person may want no part of a risky stock portfolio and more than 50% from the sale of the marital home or vice-versa. Another person may be okay sharing their investments, but not their pension.
If you’re going through a divorce, one thing you may be thinking is “why do I have to share what I’ve worked so hard for?” I mean after all, it was you who put that money in your 401(k) or who made the decision to invest in that new real estate venture that turned into a nice profit. Why should you give your soon to be ex any of it?
If you’re like most divorcing couples, the single largest asset you own is your home. And unless you’re one of the lucky few, chances are you have a mortgage on it, which both you and your spouse signed up for.
When a couple decides to divorce, one topic that must inevitably be covered is how their assets will be divided when they go their separate ways.
In my experience as a divorce mediator in New Jersey, the valuation and division of retirement and pension accounts is the most important item for those going through a mature divorce. We cover the topic of retirement assets as part of our Equitable Distribution discussions and for those experiencing a mature divorce it is one of the most challenging areas.
Once the divorce case starts many people go berserk and they will hide as much of their assets and money as possible. Moreover, many people have planned their divorce for many years before they actually file for one. During their planning stage it is not uncommon for a person to try to hide as much of their assets as possible.
In New Jersey all property except for gifts and inheritances that are acquired once you become married is considered marital property. All other assets that you had before the marriage, or that are or acquired before or during the marriage by gift or inheritance are considered to be your own separate property.
If a spouse extravagantly spends marital assets then this will only decrease the size of the marital asset. Therefore, the dependent spouse will ultimately receive a much smaller share of the marital assets. The critical issue in these types of scenarios is at what point does one spouse’s extravagant spending considered to be dissipation.
We donít live in a fantasy world. Divorce is a harsh reality that more than one half of married couples will face. Therefore, it is critically important to try to protect any premarital assets in the event there is a divorce. If a spouse has any premarital assets whether by his own savings, or by an inheritance, then these assets should be kept separately.
Is the engagement ring part of equitable distribution? No, an engagement ring is always considered to be a conditional gift. The marriage is the condition of the gift.
The issue of the equitable distribution pre-owned assets always arises in many divorce cases wherein the parties were married later on in their life, or in second marriages. If one or both of the spouses have accumulated some serious assets prior to their marriage, then some very thorny issues can "pop up" if there is a divorce.
In today’s world, especially in second marriages, premarital assets are often placed in joint names during the marriage. There are many reasons why premarital assets are placed into the other spouse’s name.
Hiding your true income is an art form, and it is a major issue in more than one half of the family law cases that I encounter. A review of this set of FAQ’S will help you determine if your husband is hiding or lying about his true income.
Hiding assets from a spouse during a divorce is not only a sneaky thing to do it is also illegal. New Jersey family law provides that married people have a legal relationship known as a fiduciary duty from the from the time they get married until at least the moment when they are finally divorced.
In a perfect world, you should contact an experienced matrimonial lawyer and have a prenuptial agreement drafted. In the vast majority of the cases prenuptial agreements are uniformly upheld by the family courts. However, let’s get real, a prenuptial agreement takes out the romance and excitement of getting married.
Many disputes have arisen over whether a gift from a parent was made to one or to both spouses, or whether a gift to one spouse lost its separate and immune character by virtue of being commingled with marital property, for example by deposit in a joint savings bank account.
In many divorce cases a critical important issue is when is the "cut off" date for equitable distribution. This basically means at what point in time are the marital assets counted to determine equitable distribution.
In most divorces the couples come to court with all sorts of assets. Some of the assets are titled jointly, some are shared, and are never intended to be shared. Asset tracing is simply the process of the documentation and supporting of a claim that a marital asset is exempt property.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. This means that in a divorce in New Jersey, any property that is acquired during the marriage must be divided in an equitable manner.
Equitable distribution is the process of how the courts decide to divide the marital property between the spouses. The main theory behind equitable distribution is that the courts and New Jersey family law recognizes the spouses as an ’economic partnership.’
As the stock market continues to rise, divorce attorneys are involved in more and more cases involving stock options. The grant of stock options to key employees is now common in high technology companies and is becoming popular in many other industries as part of an overall equity compensation strategy.
The recent Connecticut case of Wendt v. Wendt raised the question of what does equitable mean? You may recall that Lorna Wendt was awarded a settlement worth approximately $20 million from a family fortune worth at least $100 million. Gary Wendt was chief executive of GE Credit Corporation; Mrs. Wendt had been a homemaker and caretaker for the family during the thirty-one year marriage.
For almost all the couples I provide divorce mediation services to, ongoing quarrels and differences over money are frequently cited as one of the primary reasons for their marriage problems. I also find that couples are even more uncomfortable talking about their differences with regard to money than almost any other issue, including sexual dissatisfaction.
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.
On August 5, 1997, President Clinton signed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 into law. The scope of the legislation encompasses measures ranging from a child care tax credit for low and moderate-income families to new tobacco taxes. The Act includes changes to the way capital gains are treated.
Marital property is divided in New Jersey under what is known as equitable distribution. Equity is a term for fairness and the Court can make any fair allocation and distribution.
The Date of the filing of the Complaint for Divorce historically has been the date that assets are valued for purposes of equitable distribution. If the asset increases or decreases in value due to fluctuating market conditions, as in the real estate and stock markets, the gain or loss is realized by both parties at the time of the actual distribution or sale of the asset.

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In order for permanent alimony to be awarded in New Jersey, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and one spouse must have become economically dependent on the other. This type of alimony allows the obligee to maintain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed for the duration of the obligor's lifetime (unless the obligee remarries).

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