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The basics of asset division in a New Jersey divorce

New Jersey residents who are about to get a divorce may be interested in hearing some basic advice about asset division. New Jersey courts follow equitable distribution principles, and thus absent an agreement between the parties a court will divide up marital property in a manner that it deems fair. If possible, parties may want to try reaching a divorce settlement outside of court.

If parties can agree on one person keeping a family home while the other person moves out, then the individuals should discuss how they want to handle making the mortgage payments. A spouse who maintains possession of a home may choose to continue making all of the mortgage payments alone, or the parties may arrange for the payments made by the non-owning spouse to be offset in another way.

In a divorce negotiation, individuals will need to account for the division of their non-liquid assets, in addition to assets like money held in joint bank accounts. A family law attorney may help a client draft a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to effectuate the transfer of certain retirement benefits without tax penalties. People may also want to ask an attorney about New Jersey laws regarding the transfer of IRA funds from one spouse to another in a divorce.

If a person needs tax advice during a divorce, the amount may be able to be written off in a tax return. Although attorney's fees usually are not deductible, an attorney may request that another party be ordered to pay for both sides' fees. An attorney may also help a client determine the best filing status to use prior to the divorce finalization to maximize on the credits and deductions available to that client.

Source: Nerd Wallet, "Divorce: Making Sense of the Confusion", J. Kevin Stophel, June 03, 2014

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