Ending a marriage can be complicated when two people have been together for a significant length of time. Property division process can be particularly complex, and many eyes are on the recently announced split of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and his wife, MacKenzie. While that divorce could be interesting, few people have that kind of money and may be concerned about protecting more modest assets in the event of a divorce in New Jersey, which is an equitable distribution state.
In an equitable distribution state, assets are not necessarily split in two. Retirement accounts are split using what is called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO0). In a contested divorce, a judge may decide who gets what portion of the accounts, or an amount can be negotiated if the divorce is being handled as a negotiated settlement.
If one partner brings more assets to the marriage than the other, it can be a good idea to keep those assets in one name. An asset in one name only is considered separate property and is not subject to property distribution. Additionally, if one spouse makes significant financial contributions to paying down credit, such as a student loan, the other partner should keep records of those transactions.
No one wants to enter a marriage expecting to divorce. The reality is that while the overall divorce rate is falling, a significant number of marriages still do end in divorce. If a person in New Jersey is contemplating divorce, an experienced family law attorney can review a client’s situation and guide a client to a resolution that is fair to the parties involved.