Practice Areas

Division of Property

In a divorce action, the Court may, in addition to alimony and child support, make an award to the parties to effectuate an equitable distribution of the assets and debts legally acquired by the parties during the marriage.

In making an award of equitable distribution of assets and debts, the Court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:

  1. The duration of the marriage.
  2. The age and physical and emotion health of the parties.
  3. The income or property brought to the marriage by each party.
  4. The standard of living established during the marriage.
  5. Any written agreement made by parties before or during the marriage concerning an arrangement of property distribution.
  6. The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective.
  7. The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.
  8. The contribution by each party to the education, training, or earning power of the other.
  9. The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker.
  10. The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each.
  11. The present value of the property.
  12. The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence and to use or own the household effects.
  13. The debts and liabilities of the parties.
  14. The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse or child.
  15. Any other factors that the Court may deem relevant.

(N.J.S.A. 2a:34-23.1)

Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal. The word "equitable" means the weighing of many considerations and circumstances that are present in each individual case. The concept of equitable distribution is based upon marriage as a partnership, i.e., a division of property acquired during the marriage as fruits of the labor of both spouses, rather than a division according to which spouse holds title to a particular asset.