When it comes to a couple’s finances, divorces can become complicated. In light of state laws, beneficiaries and dividing assets, disentangling your finances from your former spouse’s can become downright messy. You need to cover your bases and recover your assets if you find yourself needing to divide your assets during a divorce in New Jersey. If you would like to learn more about this subject, please keep reading, then contact an experienced Bergen County, New Jersey marital property lawyer as soon as possible.
How do the spouses divide assets during a divorce in New Jersey?
Before you can even think of beginning the asset distribution process, you should educate yourself as to how the Garden State views property ownership in a marriage. Owing to the fact that New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, it has very specific rules dictating the division of assets. Specifically, it divides all assets into community property and separate property.
Any possessions acquired during the marriage constitute community property. Simply put, both spouses have equal ownership rights to marital assets gained during the marriage. This includes any:
- Property purchased
- Income earned
- Debts accrued
Conversely, the designation of “separate property” permits one spouse to retain control of their original assets. For instance, one spouse may retain ownership of property obtained before the marriage or assets purchased with an inheritance.
What types of property do spouses have to divide in a New Jersey divorce?
The spouses must make a comprehensive list of all the assets they have before they can begin the process of dividing the marital assets. This list should include the following:
- Bank accounts: This includes both individually- and jointly-owned bank accounts. The spouses should visit the bank together and close the accounts if they remain on cordial terms. On the other hand, the spouses may have to wait to close the account until they reach a divorce settlement if they are not on sufficiently amicable terms.
- Credit cards and loans: To help identify all the credit cards and loans attached to both spouses, the spouses should each obtain a copy of their credit report. Specifically, the spouses should parse out whether they are joint owners or just authorized users. It is wisest if the spouses settle the accounts immediately and close them.
- Investment and retirement accounts: To determine whether it serves the spouses’ best interests to liquidate their investment and retirement accounts, they should hire a professional to evaluate them.
- The couple’s home: When spouses co-own a home, banks will not permit them to remove one spouse from a mortgage just because of a divorce. In order to get the home in only one spouse’s name, they must refinance.
If you have any further questions, speak with a skilled Hackensack, New Jersey divorce lawyer today.
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