Equitable Distribution

Equitable Distribution Matters In NJ Involving Complex Business Entities and Financial Vehicles

Detail-Oriented, Expert Counsel In Matters of Equitable DIStrIBUTION

The division of a couple’s assets and debts is a major issue of divorce. When a couple is unable to reach an agreement outside of court intervention, the court will consider multiple factors in adjudicating the equitable distribution of all marital assets, debts and personal property.

The Family Law Offices of Megan S. Murray has extensive experience with equitable distribution cases, many of which involve high net worth and complex business assets and financial vehicles. The law firm provides thorough and insightful counsel regarding the equitable distribution of marital property with special attention to the unique circumstances of each client’s case.

What Is Equitable Distribution?

Under New Jersey law, property acquired during the marriage is subject to an equitable, but not necessarily equal, division between the parties.

In determining equitable distribution, the courts will consider many factors. Equitable distribution includes both assets and debts held by either party in the marriage, regardless of whether the assets or debts are maintained individually or under joint names. The equitable distribution process includes determining what property is considered marital in nature; properly valuing marital assets and debts; and fairly allocating marital assets and debts between the parties.


What Factors Are Considered During Equitable Distribution?

The court will consider the following factors when determining a fair equitable distribution of property between the parties:

The duration of the marriage;

The age and physical and emotional health of the parties;

The income or property brought to the marriage by each party;

The standard of living during the marriage;

Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning an arrangement of property division;

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;

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, as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker;

The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party;

The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that 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 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 or children;

The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career goals; and

Any other factor which the court may deem relevant.

What Property Is Included in Equitable Distribution?

To ensure a fair equitable distribution of property, it is imperative to first establish a full accounting of all assets and debts held either jointly by the parties or in the individual name of either party. Assets should include, but not be limited to, real estate; bank accounts; brokerage accounts; stocks; bonds; retirement accounts; personal properties; vehicles; cash value of life insurance; businesses and interests in any trust or estate.

When assets and debts were acquired, and by whom, are also critical questions to be answered in a comprehensive analysis of equitable distribution. Assets and debts acquired by either party prior to the marriage are generally considered exempt from equitable distribution, with certain exceptions in cases where they have been commingled with marital assets or changed in value during the marriage due to the efforts of either party. Likewise, gifts (except for interspousal gifts) and inheritances are generally exempt from equitable distribution.

Let’s Discuss Your Situation

Schedule an Appointment to Learn More About Equitable Distribution

The Family Law Offices of Megan S. Murray has extensive experience and expertise in the area of equitable distribution and regularly handles cases involving high net worth and complex business assets and financial vehicles. 

Get in touch with us today by calling (732)-847-9896 to schedule an appointment or send us a message with the details of your case.