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Trusted Lawyer in

South Jersey & Philadelphia

Frequently Asked Questions About Marital Property Division

A number of issues can arise during divorce, and property division can be one of the most contentious aspects of ending a marriage. Additional complications can occur if you have been married for a long time or own significant assets together.

At the Law Offices of David T. Garnes, LLC, we recommend discussing your case with our trusted divorce attorney before you make any decisions that could negatively impact your divorce settlement. Rely on our more than 20 years of divorce and family law experience to develop the solutions you need. At our law firm, we prepare you for all stages of your divorce. Below are answers to some of the most common questions that arise when we sit down with our clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania:

Can I Keep My Wedding Ring?

Yes. Your wedding and engagement bands are recognized as gifts from your spouse. You have a right to retain all personal gifts.

Can I Move Out While The Divorce Is Pending?

Remaining in your home with your soon-to-be ex-spouse can feel overwhelming; however, you should carefully evaluate your circumstances before you make a decision. If you secure a new residence:

  • You will significantly increase your living expenses.
  • It may affect the amount of alimony you receive.
  • It should not affect your chances of keeping your home.
  • It may increase your children’s stress.

If your circumstances require moving out, such as instances of physical abuse, then you should document everything with official police reports and court proceedings. Otherwise, moving out may be presented as evidence of abandoning the family. If you have questions about whether you should move out in preparation for your divorce, we encourage you to contact us right away to discuss your options in a free consultation.

What Is Marital Property?

Marital property generally includes any property acquired over the course of the marriage. Only marital property is subject to division, while separate property is not subject to division. Separate property may include items such as the value of a business on the marriage date, items of property specified as separate in a prenuptial agreement, or inheritances received by only one spouse. For items such as retirement accounts, a court will usually divide the contributions made to the accounts during the marriage and any appreciation thereon.

What Is Equitable Distribution?

New Jersey and Pennsylvania follow the principle of equitable distribution. This means that the court divides marital property on the basis of what the court deems to be fair. However, “equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal,” though an equal division is often what the court decides. Our experienced property division lawyer can negotiate a settlement on your behalf and submit the settlement to the court for approval.

How Are Inheritances Treated?

An inheritance is generally identified as the separate property of the recipient, even if it was obtained during the course of the marriage. However, in some cases, all or a portion of inheritance could be deemed marital property if the funds were commingled in a joint bank account.

What Will Happen To Our Debt?

Like assets, debt is also divided as part of your property settlement. The court will consider what is equitable when dividing debt. In most cases, debts are divided equally.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

To schedule a consultation about your divorce, please call our Cherry Hill law office at 856-324-4593, or contact our Philadelphia law office at 267-838-9713. You can also reach us by completing our contact form. The Law Offices of David T. Garnes, LLC, guides clients through the divorce process in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.