New Jersey Property Division Attorney

Protecting Your Rights and Assets in a Divorce

If you are going through a divorce in New Jersey, you and your spouse will inevitably be tasked with dividing your property. This can sometimes be an area of contention as both of you may stake claims to property and assets you believe are rightfully yours. 

The property you receive in a divorce will provide a financial foundation for your future. To minimize your financial risk, it’s important to seek the help of a skilled property division attorney. Lazaro Carvajal understands the complexities of New Jersey’s equitable distribution laws and will protect your personal and financial interests throughout the property division process. He is well-suited to handle modest-to-high net worth marital estates. 

For a FREE consultation with a New Jersey property division lawyer, call  201-281-5577

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

One of the first steps in dividing property in a divorce is identifying whether the property is part of the marital estate or separate. Marital property refers to all property, assets, and debts accumulated during the course of your marriage. For instance, the following may be subject to distribution: 

  • Marital residence
  • Vacation home/s
  • Mortgages
  • Home furnishings
  • Personal possessions
  • Credit card debt
  • Medical debt
  • Vehicles
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Retirement accounts and IRA accounts 401K, 403B
  • Stocks, bonds
  • Investment properties
  • Insurance policies: medical, dental, life, homeowner

Conversely, separate property is property acquired prior to the marriage and is exempt from distribution. Certain gifts and inheritances obtained during the marriage may qualify as separate property.

How is Property Divided in a New Jersey Divorce?

New Jersey family courts abide by the principle of equitable distribution. This means that if you and your spouse cannot reach a property agreement on your own, the court will divide property “equitably.” In this context, equitably doesn’t necessarily mean equal but what is fair and reasonable. 

Factors Influencing Property Distribution

The court will consider several factors when dividing and distributing property, some of which may include: 

  • The length of the marriage
  • The ages and health of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marital estate
  • The standard of living experienced during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Tax consequences of the proposed division
  • Value of the marital property
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Spousal support/alimony payments

Dividing Pension and Retirement Accounts

One of the most frequently asked questions during the property division process is: how will pensions and retirement accounts be divided? This property is considered joint property even if the only spouse contributed to the retirement fund. Calculating how much the earning spouse contributed to the account during the marriage can be complicated, especially if it’s a defined-contribution plan. This is why it’s so crucial to enlist the help of a property division lawyer. Lazaro Carvajal is capable of determining your pension’s value upon retirement to arrive at a fair percentage to share. 

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)? 

In order to become legally entitled to your share of money in the retirement fund, you’ll need to submit a legal document known as a qualified domestic relations order or QDRO to the court. This order authorizes a plan administrator to disburse the benefits. To avoid being dependent on your spouse’s retirement, you can roll the money over into your own personal IRA. 

QDROs are difficult documents to draft and require the expertise of a skilled property division attorney. Mr. Carvajal is well-equipped to properly prepare this paperwork to ensure your financial future is secure. 

Discuss Your Financial Future With An Experienced Property Division Lawyer

Irrespective of the size or complexity of your marital estate, we have the skills and resources to facilitate an equitable and fair division of property. Schedule a consultation with a qualified North Bergen, NJ property division attorney by calling 201-281-5577.