Marital vs. Separate Property

One of the biggest parts of the divorce process is the division of assets, or equitable distribution. Each spouse will be required to file a statement of net worth which details all of the assets that each spouse has. Assets are broken down into two categories, marital property, and separate property. The only assets that are included in the equitable distribution process are those that fall into the marital property category. Marital property is any assets that were acquired throughout the course of the marriage. Separate property is anything that was owned prior to the marriage. However, some separate property can be acquired through the duration of the marriage and still remain separate. For example, if you were the beneficiary of an inheritance during the course of your marriage and left that money in a bank account only in your name, it may not be considered marital property. On the other hand, if you received an inheritance and then put that money into a joint bank account with your spouse, it is considered marital property.

It is important to be aware that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean that the assets and debts will be divided equally. Many times, the court takes a number of different factors into consideration about the situation of each spouse that may result in a 60/40 distribution, or any other combination that would grant one spouse more assets than the other. These factors may include earning capacity of each party, the length of the marriage, the health of each party, each spouse’s contribution to the marital property, and more.

If you have questions about equitable distribution, contact our firm today.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.