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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

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When property division in New Jersey goes awry

It seems media reports of today are filled with terrifying stories about the lengths some will go to in order to deny their spouses fair marital property distribution during divorce. New Jersey, which is an equitable distribution state, is no exception with its own share of one divorcing party or another doing all they can to circumvent the equitable distribution rule. Fortunately, these stories can serve as a wakeup call, alerting both women and men to the importance of careful asset tracking during their marriages.

Understanding what equitable distribution really means is a good first step in avoiding potential problems should divorce occur. Essentially, it means both spouses have a right to a fair share of all marital property, regardless of documentation. The tricky part is determining what is fair and equitable. New Jersey and other equitable distribution states use factors such as marriage length to determine what is fair, but it still does not stop an angry or determined spouse from trying to undermine the court's work.

What's the solution? The best answer is for both spouses to be jointly involved with acquiring and managing marital property from the very beginning of the marriage. The best case scenario is that you will remain in marital bliss for the rest of your lives, but if divorce does loom in the future, knowing everything about shared marital assets may help both parties emerge from divorce in sound financial shape.

As for the present, make time to sit down together and share your knowledge about the family finances. Even if you have been married a long time and do not intend to divorce, it's important for both spouses to know the family financial information. If divorce does become a factor, a divorce attorney can help with the division of property to ensure the process does not go awry.

Source: Forbes Divorce Dollars and Sense, "How Far Some Men Will Go To Get Out Of Dividing Assets In Divorce" Nov. 03, 2014

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