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What do courts consider when dividing property in an NJ divorce?

One thing that a divorcing individual may have a great deal of concern about is how marital property will end up being split in their divorce. After all, what property division arrangement is ultimately reached in a divorce can have some pretty substantial financial implications for an individual.

There are a couple different ways the specifics of a property division in a New Jersey divorce could be decided. One way is by the divorcing parties themselves. Generally, If divorcing parties reach a settlement agreement regarding the terms of the property division, the agreement will control the property division.

Now, in some instances, divorcing individuals are unable to agree on what would be a fair division and are not able to reach such a settlement agreement. When this occurs, a court will decide on what the specifics of the property division will be.

Here in New Jersey, when the property division decision in a divorce goes to a court, the court is to make an equitable division of the property. State law sets out 16 different factors courts are to consider when deciding what an equitable division of marital property would be in a given divorce. The list can be seen here. Fifteen of these factors are specific factors. These 15 factors cover all manner of different things, from characteristics of the marriage, to characteristics of the divorcing parties, to characteristics of the property to be divided. The 16th factor is a catch-all factor covering any other factor a court finds relevant to the situation (also, the statute containing the 16 factors specifies that courts are not limited to solely considering the factors laid out in the statute).

Thus, many different things could ultimately end up influencing how a New Jersey court decides to split up marital assets when a divorce property division decision comes before it.

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