Frequently Asked Questions About Property Division
A number of issues can arise during divorce, and property division is one of the most contentious processes. Additional complications can occur if you have been married for a long time or have significant assets together.
At the Law Offices of David T. Garnes, LLC, we recommend discussing your case with our trusted attorney before you make any decisions that could negatively impact your settlement. Rely on our more than 20 years of family law experience to develop the solutions you need. At our firm, we prepare you for all stages of your divorce. Below are answers to six questions that frequently arise when we sit down with our clients:
- Can I keep my wedding ring?
- Can I move out while the divorce is pending?
- What is marital property?
- What is equitable distribution?
- How are inheritances treated?
- What will happen to our debt?
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 be overwhelming; however, you should carefully evaluate the following information 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, document everything with official police reports and court proceedings. Otherwise, moving out may be presented as evidence of abandoning the family.
What Is Marital Property?
Marital property includes any property accumulated over the course of marriage. Only marital property is subject to division. For items such as retirement accounts, a court will usually divide the contributions made to them 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 it deems to be fair. This does not, however, necessarily mean equal asset division. Of course, you are free to negotiate a settlement with your spouse and then submit it 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 marriage. However, in some cases, all or a portion of inheritance could be deemed marital property such as 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 Knowledgeable Representation
We encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with the laws governing property division before entering divorce. Our attorney will explain all aspects of divorce law, and ensure that you understand how it may impact your case. If you face divorce, contact our Cherry Hill office online or call us at 856-324-4593 to arrange a consultation with our experienced lawyer.