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Emotions are best left out of property division proceedings

A couple embarking on the journey of a divorce face far different emotions than they may have faced at the beginning of the marriage. Where happiness, hope and anticipation often follow the marriage vows, dread, anger and hurt can follow the decision to divorce. These emotions can cloud the important decision making and fact gathering that go into the process of property division in New Jersey.

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that the assets obtained during the marriage, considered to be the marital estate, are not necessarily split down the middle but are divided up in what the court believes is a fair division of assets and liabilities. In order to facilitate a fair distribution, all assets and liabilities should be accounted for. The big items such as houses, cars and retirement accounts may come immediately to mind, but there are other assets or liabilities that can accumulate over the period of a marriage.

It is important to have as complete an accounting as possible of such items as bank accounts, insurance policies, frequent flyer miles, collectibles, valuable art or jewelry and other items that may have monetary value. In addition, an equally comprehensive list of liabilities is needed that should include mortgages, student loans and credit card accounts. Having such comprehensive information available can aid in determining the true value of the marital property to be divided.

A person in New Jersey who is considering a divorce could benefit from seeking the counsel of a family law professional. A knowledgeable lawyer can review the inventory of assets and liabilities and help one to determine an equitable distribution of assets and liabilities. If approached as more of a business transaction, some of the emotions may be avoided.

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