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Dividing What Once Were Personal Assets In A Divorce

Dividing Assets in Divorce | West New York Divorce Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom

Dividing What Once Were Personal Assets In A Divorce

In dealing with any divorce, the main focus, other than the children, is usually the fair disbursement of property, which could be avoided if there were a prenup agreement in place before the marriage.

The main way to protect premarital assets is through the execution of a prenuptial agreement that outlines the separate nature of the property and makes it clear that it will not become marital property. Of course, if a divorce already is a possibility, this no longer is an option. Unfortunately, many couples contemplating marriage find it difficult to foresee a time when this type of agreement will be necessary, even though fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Having a prenup in place would save time, money and heartache, but it isn’t the way people usually do it.

There is a New Jersey law that does protect premarital property. Under New Jersey Law, N.J.S.A 2A:34-23(h), there is a clear rule that premarital assets are not subject to equitable distribution. The problem it often it is not this simple to divide properties, which have been commingled during a marriage. To determine whether or not the property could be subject to division, several different types of analysis may be applied and should be reviewed.

Why A Prenup Could Prove Necessary In A Divorce

• If an asset was purchased in contemplation of marriage, then it may be pulled into the scope of the marital property. The court will look at the behavior of both parties surrounding the acquisition of the property. A determination that the property was purchased in contemplation of marriage means that it is now a marital asset.

• Another scenario involves when one party to a wedding had an asset before the relationship and that asset increased in value during the marriage. The court will take a hard look at the value increase.

• Another problem that confuses the issue of whether an asset is subject to equitable distribution is when the parties have co-mingled premarital assets with marital assets. Placing funds in a joint account could transform the asset. Selling the stock and using the funds to purchase a family home likely will result in the conversion into marital assets.

To make sure your premarital assets are protected, you should avoid:

1. Commingling the assets with marital property
2. Permitting the other spouse from investing time or effort into improving the asset or otherwise increasing its value
3. Adding the name of the spouse to any title, account, or any other indicator of ownership.

Anytime there is a divorce; there is going to be emotional turmoil and arguments over who gets what. If you came into the relationship with significant personal property, it might be possible to protect some of the assets during the distribution of property even if you don’t have a prenup.

Divorce Attorney Consultation with Jeffrey M. Bloom

Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom is a divorce, family law, and workers’ compensation attorney located in the West New York. Mr. Bloom will provide an honest evaluation of what items could reasonably remain separate from the marital property. To schedule an appointment with a skilled, reliable divorce attorney, call Mr. Bloom at (855) 282-8386, and he will gladly work with you to protect your interests.

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