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What is marital property and how do courts divide it?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2020 | divorce | 0 comments

Individuals who are getting divorced are likely to have many questions about how they should agree to divide their property. When a married couple cannot agree about how to divide their property, a court will make the final determination.

Courts divide only marital property and exclude non-marital property from their determination. Courts first evaluate what property they must divide and then issue a ruling on how to divide it.

What is marital property?

In the state of New Jersey, courts consider all property that either spouse acquires during the course of the marriage to be marital property. Savings from an individual’s earnings and any property that the couple purchases qualifies as marital property.

What is not marital property?

If a person makes a gift to his or her spouse, it remains the personal property of the recipient and a court will not consider it to be marital property. Whether certain property was a gift may be a subject of dispute during divorce proceedings.. Personal gifts and inheritances that individuals receive during their marriage is also not personal property.

How do courts divide marital property?

It is a common misconception that a court will distribute property equally between divorcing parties. In actuality, courts attempt to split property equitably rather than equally. A court will take several factors into account when evaluating how to divide property fairly and equitably. Courts may consider the income or property that each spouse contributed to the marriage, the spouses’ standard of living during the marriage, and the duration of the marriage.