Most people get married with little thought that they might one day get divorced. But when divorce does become a reality, there are many financial considerations to be made regarding property division in New Jersey. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state which means the court will focus on ordering a fair and equitable distribution of marital property, though not necessarily a 50/50 split.
There are steps a person should take in preparing for the separation and divorce process and for life post-divorce. It is important to have current financial information on all accounts held jointly and individually. In addition to assets, debts and liabilities such as credit cards, car payments, student loans and mortgages need to included. The more accurate the information, the more likely a fair and comprehensive divorce settlement can be achieved. Taking a look at expenses and planning for them post-divorce can help to prepare for life following the divorce.
Many couples have retirement accounts and other investments that will be part of property division. In order to avoid paying penalties and taxes sooner than required on those accounts, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) may be necessary and can be obtained on application to the court. This allows for the division of the assets without incurring early withdrawal penalties or taxes at the time of the distribution. The divided assets do need to be rolled into a retirement account to avoid the taxes and penalties.
Divorce and property division can be looked at as a business transaction. As with any business transaction, the more complete and accurate the information the better. The end of a marriage can be a very emotional and stressful time. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney in New Jersey can help provide a person perspective and assist one on keeping the focus on the goal of an equitable property settlement.