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How equitable division applies to assets people can’t divide

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2023 | DIVORCE - Divorce |

Divorcing couples in New Jersey have to handle many challenging discussions. After sharing a household and combining their finances for years, they will have to decide who keeps what assets and how they will share their mutual financial obligations. Each spouse usually wants to retain as much as possible to ensure their comfort after the divorce.

Some assets are easy to share, as spouses can simply divide them. Couples can split the balance of financial accounts, for example. With certain large assets, actually dividing the property won’t be possible. The asset can only go to one spouse or the other. How do people address assets that they cannot divide in a divorce while remaining compliant with equitable distribution rules?

They need to set a value for assets they cannot divide

Couples will need to establish what those assets are worth and then consider the full value of all marital assets and debts while seeking a fair or equitable solution for property division. However, even the process of putting a price on certain assets can potentially lead to conflict. For particularly valuable assets, it may be necessary to bring in professionals to perform appraisals and valuations. People need to have an accurate idea about what assets are actually worth if they are to factor that value into their property division decisions.

Creative solutions are possible during property division

Equitable distribution leaves a lot of wiggle room for couples negotiating a property settlement. What is fair does not necessarily have to be a 50/50 split of assets, and couples do not automatically have to divide all of their property either. One spouse might agree to take on more debt than the other in exchange for keeping the marital home. Other times, someone might keep all of the furniture and other major household assets, but they might also give up their interest in their spouse’s retirement account. So long as people agree on the terms, they don’t have to worry about what conclusion a judge might reach.

Understanding how to approach valuable assets for the purpose of property division negotiations may help people more easily reach an appropriate property division settlement as they prepare for a New Jersey divorce.