Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.
WEST CALDWELL
973-200-4892
JERSEY CITY & BAYONNE
201-793-7739

The basics of property division

When New Jersey couples get divorced, they usually need to discuss how they will divide their property. This process can quickly become complicated, so it is important for people to understand basic facts about property division.

Most of the time, people can divide their property into two categories. According to FindLaw, these categories are separate property and community property. Separate property typically includes all of the assets that belong to only one spouse, such as an inheritance or a pension. This also includes property that one person owned before getting married. Assets purchased by a couple are usually considered community property. This may include debt as well as physical belongings. If one spouse helped the other buy property before they were married, this property may be considered community property. Additionally, a business run by one person might be viewed as community property if is supported by joint funds.

As people begin to divide their assets, there are a few details they should pay attention to. LiveAbout.com says couples should make sure they each have a copy of important financial documents. Additionally, it is a good idea for them to have separate bank accounts and credit card accounts. Some couples may be unable to immediately close their joint accounts, so they may want to write up a document that specifies how these joint funds can be used. 

It is also important for people to consider their home. Homeowners may want to change the title so they are considered separate tenants and not a couple. This can make it easier for a court to determine which spouse has more money invested in the house. Additionally, people should also consider their investment assets. If both spouses have access to these assets, they may want to temporarily freeze them so one person cannot use the funds inappropriately.

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