What You Should Know About Dividing Assets During a Divorce
One of the most important aspects of the divorce process is dividing the assets that are shared by the couple. Among the more than 800,000 divorces that take place every year in the U.S., the division of assets and property is an essential component in most of these proceedings. When you need help ascertaining how assets should be divided, our attorneys can assist you in understanding every element of this process.
How Property and Assets Are Divided
Most of the assets that were purchased or accumulated during the marriage will be considered as jointly owned items or property that must be subjected to equitable distribution. Any assets that were acquired as gifts, through inheritance or before the marriage began, will be considered as separate property that won’t have to be divided. The equitable distribution could be a standard 50/50 split or divided in a completely different manner. The only requirement for this type of asset division is that the final result is fair and reasonable to both parties.
There are two ways in which shared property and assets can be divided in the divorce process. The lengthier way is through divorce court, which means that the courts will determine how the assets are divided when both spouses can’t come to an agreement. The other method of property division is with an agreement between both spouses on how the assets should be divided, which is usually filed with the court in the middle of the divorce process. This agreement can either be reached amicably with simple conversations or through what’s known as the mediation process. Mediation is used when the divorcing couple is unable to agree on a few of the finer points when trying to come to an agreement on asset division. A third-party mediator will handle negotiations between both parties in order to reach such an agreement.
Types of Assets and Property That Can Be Divided
There is a substantial amount of assets and pieces of property that can build up during a marriage, which is why most divorcing spouses focus on creating a list of every item in question to make the process a simpler and less time-consuming one. The main home and any other kind of joint property are always included on this list, the latter of which can refer to things like lake cabins and beach properties. Some of the additional assets that should be placed on these lists include:
- All vehicles
- Securities like money market accounts, stocks and bonds
- Bank accounts
- Household items like appliances and furniture
- Valuable collectibles, such as antiques
- Retirement plans
The assets that many couples find difficult to divide during this process include the house, any vehicles that are currently owned and valuable collectibles inside the home. All these assets will need to be divided in a fair manner before the divorce can be finalized. When it comes to large assets, such as the main home, many couples simply choose to sell the property and split the proceeds. Each spouse’s individual circumstances at the time of the divorce will play a substantial role in how many of the assets are divided.
Obtaining the Help of Our New Jersey Divorce Attorneys
Whether you are about to go through mediation or are only considering filing for a divorce, our divorce lawyers here at Morgenstern & Rochester have handled a large number of cases involving the division of property. This means that at our law firm, we can help you when you’re trying to determine how your marriage’s assets should be divided. If you will be going through mediation, we’ll make sure that any agreement is just as fair to you as it is to your spouse. Our lawyers will also file the final agreement as soon as it’s completed.
If you need help understanding which assets should be divided and how to do so, call one of our New Jersey divorce lawyers at our office in Cherry Hill at (856) 489-6200 to get started on the process.