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What does equitable distribution mean for my divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2022 | family law |

New Jersey couples whose marriages have come to an end must divide their property according to equitable distribution rules. You’ll need to keep several essential points in mind when going through negotiations. Here’s what you need to know about dividing your marital property.

Equitable division does not mean each spouse receives half

Thinking that you and your spouse will receive exactly half of your marital property in your division of assets is one of the biggest fallacies. The idea behind equitable distribution of property owned by both spouses or acquired during the marriage is to keep the process fair. Equitable distribution weighs several factors in determining how to divide the property. For example, if one spouse has worked the entire time during the marriage, that spouse may be more employable and receive a lesser portion of the property. Other factors include:

  • Physical or mental abuse
  • The financial obligations of each spouse
  • Saving and spending habits
  • Age

Separate property belonging to either spouse acquired or inherited before the marriage will also affect equitable distribution. You also must remember that if you have a prenuptial agreement, that document will usually govern.

Understanding equitable distribution in your divorce

The equitable distribution of property can be a difficult concept to understand, especially when negotiations become heated. Working with a qualified financial advisor can help you understand the implications of equitable distribution and the way many factors shape your property division discussions. If keeping certain assets is essential to you, you may have to give ground on other assets.

Remember that the suggestions proposed by your financial advisor must also meet the legal terms of your divorce documents. However, in most cases, financial advisors and divorce lawyers will work together to determine and ensure that your best interests are met.