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Tackling property division in a New Jersey divorce

Couples who are contemplating divorce often feel overwhelmed by all the decisions they must make during the process. Understandably, their main concerns typically concern child custody or child support, but that doesn't make the other decisions any less important. One of these decisions is what to do about the marital property the two spouses share.

It's important to understand going into a divorce that if an agreement about property division cannot be reached, the couple might have to go through a mediation process according to New Jersey matrimonial laws. Typically, this means the divorce might take additional time to finalize and may or may not result in additional costs as well.

To help gain an understanding about property division in a divorce, take some time to learn the meaning of the following commonly-used terminology.

-- Community Property: Marital property typically divided evenly in applicable states. New Jersey is not a community property state.-- Equitable Distribution: In non-community property states, this means the court usually divides the property. This is what happens many times in New Jersey divorces.-- Separate Property: This usually refers to materials and items the divorcing spouses owned individually before marriage.-- Property from Commingled Funds: Property purchases by one or both spouses using individual funds and family funds together. In most cases, courts lump this type of property into the community property pool in applicable states.

Researching and finding out how this terminology applies to your own divorce can help spouses reach an agreement that would hopefully keep them out of a courtroom. Another way to handle property division is by seeking assistance from the attorneys who are handling your divorce proceedings. When couples take a cooperative approach to dividing the family assets, it can ease the entire process for everyone involved.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ" Sep. 04, 2014

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