When it comes to divorce in New Jersey, there is no such thing as equal distribution of assets, also known as community property. What is used instead is what is called equitable distribution. This means that the assets in question are divided on the basis of fairness rather than equality. In a divorce, this means the judge presiding over the divorce makes the decision on what is fair. Therefore, if you don’t want the court deciding what exactly is considered a fair division of assets and debts, the best course of action is equitable distribution through New Jersey divorce mediation.
Equitable distribution through mediation is a good way to avoid the messiness of a court battle over money and property. It also allows you control over the process. So if you want to ensure assets and debts are divided equally rather than equitably, than mediation is an option worth considering.
What Does Equitable Distribution Through Mediation Include?
Generally, marital assets and debts are those that are acquired by either or both spouses from the date of the marriage to the filing of the divorce. These include but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- The marital home
- Retirement plans
- Savings and other bank accounts
- Investment plans
- Debt from marital obligations
- Automobiles and other vehicles
Property that is considered separate includes property that was acquired before the marriage, property acquired from third parties as gifts or via inheritance, or property acquired after the filing of the divorce complaint. This property must have been kept separate and not commingled or else it may be argued that it is marital property.
The Benefits of Mediation in Equitable Distribution of Assets
Equitable distribution of assets can be very difficult. With other aspects of divorce mediation, like child support or parenting time, there is an impetus to compromise for the sake of the children involved. Anger and resentment are more likely to come to the fore when discussing money and possessions. However, a willingness to put away your marital issues and come to the table ready to compromise will often leave you with a more equitable distribution both party will find satisfying compared to leaving the decision up to a judge. Mediation also costs much less, takes far less time and is generally less stressful than taking the divorce to court. A good divorce mediator is also more invested in making sure everyone involved gets a fair deal with minimal animosity compared to a judge.
Finding the Best NJ Divorce Mediator
At the law firm of Steven B. Menack, we have helped over 5,000 couples come to equitable agreements over the past 25 years. We are prepared to assist you with a collaborative solution to the dissolution of your marriage and aid in the process of moving on with your life.