Distribution of Debts
During the course of a marriage, many valuable items are accumulated. Whether assets are purchased or the result of savings or investments, New Jersey law is clear when it comes to the equitable division of wealth and debt. If you decide to divorce, assets obtained during the marriage must be divided fairly and reasonably between the two spouses. Similarly, debts must be divided equitably, as well.
The term “equitable,” however, doesn’t mean equal. This is why you need to hire a knowledgeable family lawyer who understands complicated asset and debt disposition laws in New Jersey. When you are getting divorced, contact Ronald Graziano of Graziano & Flynn in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. We know that you are entitled to your share of property and wealth accumulated during the marriage and, rest assured, we will protect your right to keep what’s yours.Common Marital Assets that Require Equitable Distribution During Divorce
In cases where there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, some assets such as heirloom jewelry, family real estate or inheritances such as trusts, may be off the table during discussions regarding equitable distribution of assets. For all other items accumulated during the marriage, both spouses have a right to their share.
Common marital assets that need to be equitably divided between the spouses include:
- Real estate (including marital home, vacation housing, investment property)
- Vehicles (including cars, motorcycles, trucks, boats and campers)
- Retirement Accounts (including 401(k), 503(b), pensions, etc.)
- Investments (including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.)
- Further, if one or both spouses own part or all of a business, the assets of the company may need to be reasonably divided, as well
For more than 40 years, Mr. Graziano has been a successful family lawyer representing divorcing clients in South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County and Gloucester County. He will protect your rights and will fight for you at the negotiation table and in family court, if necessary, to ensure that you get the assets that you are entitled to receive.Division of Debts is Often a Major Sticking Point During Divorce Negotiations
The reason why divorcing spouses argue so fervently when it comes to who should be responsible for debt is that, oftentimes, one spouse contends that the debt wasn’t incurred by both people. Of course, decisions to purchase a car or a piece of artwork or even a new television are generally made together. In these cases, both spouses, and even the entire family, enjoyed use of these items and they are, therefore, considered marital debt.
However, what happens when one spouse uses joint credit cards for other purchases?
For example, if one spouse has a gambling problem and accrued significant debt, should the other be required to foot the bill for those payments? Similarly, if one spouse had an affair and spent a considerable amount of money on their extracurricular activities, should the other spouse have to bear the weight of that debt?
Talk to Mr. Graziano about your particular situation. While each of you must take responsibility for an equitable share of debt accumulated during the marriage, you can rely on Mr. Graziano’s expertise to make sure you don’t get stuck holding the bill for debts you didn’t incur.
Mr. Graziano will explain the various guidelines judges use to determine how assets and debts should be equitably divided during divorce.In South Jersey, Your Debts Are Divided Just Like Your Assets Are Speak with a Dedicated Family Law Attorney About Your Next Steps
It’s been said that the only things we can be sure of are death and taxes. Most New Jersey married couples, except for those fortunate enough to have high net assets, have also become quite accustomed to debt. Whether it’s a mortgage, a car loan, college bills, credit card debt or another type of debt, it’s not unusual to live beyond our means, relying on credit.
However, when you are facing a divorce, especially if it’s contentious, the issue of debt can no longer remain the elephant in the room. You need an experienced, knowledgeable divorce attorney who understands the laws regarding the distribution of marital debt in New Jersey. When it comes to divorce settlements and the distribution of marital assets and debts, South Jersey lawyer Ron Graziano of Graziano & Flynn, P.C. knows that one size doesn’t fit all. He will represent you with an eye on making sure you won’t be forced to pay debts that aren’t legally yours to pay.Whose Debt Is It Anyway?
The concept of “equitable distribution” is law in New Jersey when it comes to divorce. The couple must figure out how to equitably divide both the marital assets and the debts incurred during the course of the marriage. However, “equitable” doesn’t mean “equal” and it certainly doesn’t mean 50/50.
One of the biggest issues with trying to divide debt is, in many cases, a couple’s financial health, or lack thereof, contributed to the decision to divorce. It’s even worse if one or both of you are facing bankruptcy or have amassed considerable credit card debt — without the agreement or knowledge of the other spouse.
If you are in the process of or considering divorce and debt distribution is an issue, be aware that you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can help make sure you aren’t held responsible for debts you didn’t make on behalf of the marital home. He can help you prove that the debts in question are not actually yours and not related to the usual and customary family expenses.
A really good reason to speak with Ron Graziano of divorce law firm Graziano & Flynn, P.C. is that he will do everything he can to limit your liability. It’s important to understand upfront that if you aren’t able to prove that you are not responsible, the debts will be considered “marital debt” and you could be held responsible to for a portion up to half when the divorce settlement is decided.
Don’t go into debt distribution negotiations without Ron Graziano by your side.What Is Considered Marital Debt?
Debt accumulated during the marriage is generally considered marital debt. Loans and debts that are co-signed by both spouses and used for the betterment of the family, such as mortgages and lines of credit, car loans, and joint credit cards, are considered marital debt.
The law does recognize that, oftentimes, one spouse is more apt to use credit cards to pay for food to feed the entire family or gas to fuel the car so children can be carpooled to and from activities. In these cases, the debt was technically incurred by one spouse but both with be responsible to pay it off. The spouse used the credit card to rack up debt to feed the entire family. One person spent the money, but both spouses are held liable for the bills.There Are Times Debt Should Not Be Considered Marital Debt
New Jersey family courts are clear in the fact that debt incurred within the course of a marriage will be split between the two parties should the desire to divorce arise. However, common sense dictates that debt incurred during a marriage isn’t always made by joint decision. Ron Graziano will work with accountants and investigators, if necessary, to help prove that you should not have to pay debts you feel were incurred without your consent.Talk to Ronald Graziano About Your Rights and Options Regarding Equitable Distribution of Debt & Assets in New Jersey
It’s important to recognize that the way assets and debts are divided during divorce may have an impact on a judge’s alimony order and child support requirements. Don’t try to negotiate these important issues without the assistance of a knowledgeable asset and debt distribution lawyer. Contact Graziano & Flynn for a consultation today. We will review your assets and advise you on how to proceed during negotiations with your soon-to-be-ex.Talk to NJ Divorce Attorney Ron Graziano About Your Marital Debts for Free
There are a number of financial issues to consider in divorce. The ways marital debt is defined and divided is certainly a major part of the divorce settlement. South Jersey divorce lawyer Ron Graziano has represented many people, like you, who want to emerge from their divorce proceedings financially sound. Mr. Graziano was a certified trial attorney for over 25 years, and he has been named a top lawyer in New Jersey’s Super Lawyers magazine for multiple years.
We invite you to contact the law firm of Graziano & Flynn P.C. for a free, no obligation consultation. Ron Graziano will discuss your case, confidentially, and explain how he can make sure you are protected. Call 856-499-4351 or at toll free 866-948-7568 or fill out our convenient online form and we will get back to you right away. We will fight tirelessly on your behalf to make sure you don’t pay more than you rightfully should.