Community property refers to belongings that a couple acquired during their marriage. Rather than one person in the marriage owning all the property, courts classify most possessions as community property and require equitable distribution of those assets between both parties during a divorce. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule. If you are getting divorced, you need to understand the guidelines surrounding this type of property. Therefore, this article will review community property and detail what assets fall into this asset categorization.
What Is Community Property in New Jersey?
While many states across the country are community property states, the state of New Jersey is not. Instead, it is known as an equitable distribution state, where there is an equitable division of property if a couple decides to divorce.
So, what exactly does an equitable division of property mean? It means that the property division will be proportional, but it may be unfavorable to one side or another. One person can end up receiving more property and assets than the other person in the marriage based on the circumstances.
Unlike areas where courts divide community property between both parties in an equal manner, the state of New Jersey will distribute it based on various factors, including:
- How much both parties contributed to the assets and finances over the years
- The earning abilities for both parties
- Any prenuptial agreements signed before the marriage
Equitable distribution is a complex topic that incorporates several other factors when deciding which party will get what possessions during a divorce proceeding in New Jersey.
Understanding the Importance of Community Property
It is essential for several reasons. It protects divorcing parties and prevents them from losing assets they contributed to with hard work. When such marital property laws exist, divorcing couples can receive a fair share of the property. This may be ideal for both parties. States without community property can allow one party to receive much less than the other person, making the process frustrating and aggravating.
In states with it, the concept includes earnings received and assets obtained during the marriage, such as the marital home and any vehicles. Gifts are not typically community property. If one person received gifts in the form of money, vehicles, or other personal property from their loved ones, they would not have to share those assets with their former partner after getting a divorce.
Bring Your Concerns to a Divorce Attorney
If you are having concerns about classifications, then you need to contact an experienced and professional divorce attorney. The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., employs a full staff of attorneys that are knowledgeable in community property and equitable distribution. They can provide you with the assistance and representation you need throughout the divorce process. Ensure you get the assets you deserve by hiring a proper attorney that will fight aggressively for your rights. Remember, with us, it’s personal. Call us today at (973) 358-6134 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential phone consultation.