How is Equitable Distribution Determined?

New Jersey Marital Asset Protection Attorneys

When a marriage ends, the property and debt acquired during the marriage must be divided between the parties. Your financial future starts with your fair share of assets from equitable distribution. At the law offices of Morris, Downing & Sherred, our equitable distribution attorneys can help you work toward a secure tomorrow.

How Is Equitable Distribution Determined?

Equitable distribution is defined as the fair division of the assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage. This means that marital property must be divided fairly but does not necessarily have to be divided equally. Courts in New Jersey have the discretion to divide the marital assets and debts in any manner that they determine is fair, although not necessarily equal. Some of the factors considered by the courts are as follows:

  • Income or property brought to the marriage by each party
  • Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage
  • Economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective
  • Contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation or preservation, in the amount or value of the marital property
  • Contribution of a party as a homemaker
  • Tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party
  • The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence and to use or own the household effects

Whenever possible, we use negotiation and divorce mediation to work out equitable distribution agreements without the need for the time and expense of a trial. However, in some complex or hard-fought cases, the only acceptable option is a trial. Gathering the factual underpinnings for the equitable distribution factors is critical to adequately arguing your case. Depending on your goals, you may want to attempt to convince the court that the factors dictate that you receive the highest possible percentage of the distribution of assets.

Contact Morris, Downing & Sherred Today

The division of marital property in a divorce can get very complicated. Whether you want to negotiate a fair settlement or protect your rights in court, you want an advocate working for you. Contact us at our Newton offices today or call us at 973-383-2700 to schedule a confidential consultation and learn more about how we can help you.