New Jersey law does not recognize the often heard concept of Community Property where everything acquired during the marriage, absent a prenuptial agreement, is split equally. However, it does have the concept of Equitable Distribution which provides that all assets acquired during marriage are to be equitably distributed.
Unfortunately, this has de facto come to mean that all assets acquired during a marriage are divided equally. However, if equitable reasons would call for something other than a 50/50 split of assets, an argument can and should be made for a different sharing of assets.
Assets subject to equitable distribution are those acquired as of the date of marriage up to the date a Complaint for Divorce is filed (or a mutually chosen date if a divorce action is not going to be filed right away).
What Does Equitable Distribution Include?
Equitable Distribution includes not only “big ticket” items, such as the equity in a home and balances in bank accounts. It also includes:
- Savings accounts
- Investment accounts
- 401(k) plans
- Retirement plans (both defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans)
- Debts acquired for marital obligations
Ms. Wagner has even had cases where a CD collection and frequent flyer miles were the subject of equitable distribution. And the issue of who gets the pet(s) can sometimes be almost as emotional as custody. Ms. Wagner has worked on several cases that entailed a time sharing plan for dogs and cats.
As Ms. Wagner works with you, she will not only assist you in identifying assets subject to Equitable Distribution but also review bank statements and budgets to see if there are any hidden assets or assets that have mysteriously disappeared and which should be divided between the parties.
Contact the Law Office of Katherine Wagner today to discuss your rights to your fair share of marital assets as it can make a big difference in the lifestyle you live post-divorce.
Serving Hillsborough, Branchburg, and Somerset, New Jersey and the surrounding areas.