New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” State. This means that the Judge will equitably divide the marital assets. Some States are “community property” States, which means that everything that the husband and wife own is going to be divided between them. California is notorious for movie stars getting divorced, and having to give millions of dollars to their ex-spouse, which they had before they got married. New Jersey does not do this.
New Jersey divides up the assets that the husband and the wife accumulated during their marriage. Everything that either one of them owned before they got married is exempt from being distributed. Gifts that they receive from friends, family etc. are also exempt from being equitably distributed. Inheritances are also exempt from being equitably distributed. However, if you receive a gift, or if you own things before you get married, or you inherit during the marriage or before the marriage, you can
lose this exemption. If you mix exempt assets with your other assets that you acquired during the marriage, you can lose that exemption. For example, if you have $100,000.00 in bank when you get married, it would be exempt so long as you keep that money separate. If you put that money In and mix it with money that you and your spouse earn over the next 20 years while you are married, then that exempt $100,000.00 will be lost. It will be considered all of the same as the other assets, and it will be divided between yourself and your spouse.
The assets that the parties acquired during the marriage will be equitably divided by the Judge. Usually, this means that the assets will be divided equally, 50/50. There are some things that change this division, for example if one of the people had a gift from the parents to help buy the house. They can then claim that they should get back the value of that gift before the dividing the rest of the value of the house.
One of the most common questions in divorce is what is going to happen to the house, the bank accounts, credit card debt, and all of the other things that you have accumulated while you were married. These are important questions, and this can become very complex also. You are going to want to carefully plan these costs, with the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer.