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Division of Property and Assets

Ending a relationship, especially one that spans years where property was secured, and trinkets of all different sizes were acquired is often more complicated than the divorce itself. The heartbreak that divorce itself can bring along with it is often multiplied when couples bicker over who gets what.

Who Gets What? Who Will Have To Compromise? Is There A Better Solution To Dividing Things? What Options Do You Have?

If you are preparing to divide assets, consider the following legal factors that a court will consider when the division of assets/property is brought before them:

New Jersey Factors:

  • The duration of the marriage or civil union;
  • The age and physical and emotional health of the parties;
  • The income or property brought to the marriage or civil union by each party;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage or civil union;
  • Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage or civil union concerning an arrangement of property distribution;
  • The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective;
  • The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage or civil union;
  • The contribution by each party to the education, training or earning power of the other;
  • The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, or the property acquired during the civil union as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker;
  • The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party;
  • The present value of the property;
  • The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence or residence shared by the partners in a civil union couple and to use or own the household effects;
  • The debts and liabilities of the parties;
  • The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse, partner in a civil union couple or children;
  • The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career goals; and
  • Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

Pennsylvania Factors:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • Any prior marriage of either party.
  • The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.
  • The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.
  • The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.
  • The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
  • The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker.
  • The value of the property set apart to each party.
  • The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
  • The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective.
  • (10.1) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications associated with each asset to be divided, distributed or assigned, which ramifications need not be immediate and certain.
  • (10.2) The expense of sale, transfer or liquidation associated with a particular asset, which expense need not be immediate and certain.
  • Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania follow the school of thought of equitable division, which falsely invites people to think that equitable means equal where in fact it really means “fair”. The Court will fairly in their eyes divide the property and assets of the divorcing spouses which unfortunately means it may not exactly be equal. Our team can be utilized to assist and navigate you through the proper mechanism of allocating the assets and property in order to benefit you!

Keep in mind that if you and your spouse are able to amicably divide assets amongst yourselves, our team will be able to prepare a marital separation agreement or a property settlement agreement to incorporate those terms into the final divorce forgoing lengthy hearings and trials thus saving you both money and nerves in long run.

Many attorneys boast that they are sharks and will aggressively fight for your position. While that is an incredible pitch, many fail to see that often approaching the negotiation table with rationale, respect and logic often achieves far greater success. Our firm prides itself in being able to fight fervently and passionately for our clients’ rights.

Our zealous passion to ensure that we are successful in our trials for our clients supports our mantra that Not Every Battle Must Become A War. We believe that passion, respect, and logic is what wins for our clients.   

Are you concerned about your assets or property? Do you have questions about equitable distribution? Contact our team to discuss your unique circumstances today.

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