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Flemington NJ Family Law Attorney
Dividing Marital Property and Debt in New Jersey
There are no do-overs when it comes to dividing marital assets and debts in divorce. Any mistakes that you make now can affect you for years to come. As a result, it is important to seek advice from an experienced Flemington NJ family law attorney, especially if you own significant assets. At the Law Office of Stephen D. Williams in Flemington, New Jersey, we will guide you through the process of identifying, valuing and dividing marital property, including debts. Regardless of how much you own or how much you owe.
Understanding Marital Property Division
New Jersey recognizes two types of property:
- Separate property: This includes the assets you owned before your marriage, plus gifts and inheritances received during your marriage.
- Marital property: This includes all assets accumulated during your marriage with the exception of gifts and inheritances. Even assets held in your name only, such as a 401(k) or IRA account, are considered marital property if the assets were accumulated during your marriage.
The determination of what is marital and what is separate property can be extremely complex. For example, if you owned a house before your marriage, but you made mortgage payments using community assets during your marriage, the house may contain a mixture of marital and separate property. If an asset increases in value during your marriage, the increase in value may be marital property.
Do I Have To Share My Spouse’s Debts?
Debts accumulated during the marriage may be considered marital debts regardless of who incurred the debt. However, there are exceptions. For example, if your spouse incurred credit card debt to travel with a girlfriend or boyfriend, that debt may be considered your spouse’s separate debt.
If you think a divorce is in your future, it is important to take steps to protect yourself financially. It’s not unusual for spouses to drain assets from bank accounts and spend lavishly on the cusp of a divorce.