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Equitable distribution is the phrase the court uses when it divides property rights and obligations between spouses during a divorce. The goal of equitable distribution is to allocate assets and liabilities obtained during the course of the marriage to both parties, whether or not that property is titled in one or both of the parties’ names.
In making an equitable distribution of property, the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:
The theory of equitable distribution is that marriage is a partnership whose assets should be fairly and equitably distributed when the partnership breaks up. Pascale v. Pascale, 140 N.J. 583 (1995). Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution.
Equitable distribution does not include any assets acquired by either party by way of gift (except that a gift from one spouse to the other during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution), devise or intestate succession, or any assets acquired prior to the marriage.
In effectuating an equitable distribution of the marital assets, the court must follow a three-step approach: (1) determine what specific property is eligible for distribution, (2) value the property for purposes of distribution, and (3) decide how such distribution can most equitably be made. Rothman v. Rothman, 65 N.J. 219 (1974).
Given the complexities involved with Equitable Distribution, we advise you to contact one of our experienced family law attorneys at 908-735-5161 at Gebhardt & Kiefer today. We handle Equitable Distribution and family law issues throughout New Jersey.
*During the complimentary 15-minute phone consultation, information provided by our attorneys and answers to questions are intended to be general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The phone consultation does not constitute an attorney-client relationship, and confidential information should not be shared until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.