Guest post by Jason Levoy, AKA The Divorce Resource Guy
I'm sure I don't have to tell you that part of any divorce is the distribution of assets...marital assets.
In New Jersey, courts divide assets by a method called equitable distribution.When you get divorced, you are splitting a marital household/lifestyle into two single pieces. Each state is different. If you're in a community property jurisdiction, everything is considered joint.
All those marital assets you accumulated have to be divided and distributed as part of the dissolution process.It may be different in your state, so check to be sure.In an equitable distribution state, this means that the assets are divvied up in a manner that is equitable to both parties.
This is not the same thing as equal and it does not mean that you automatically split every asset 50/50.For example, you might get to keep the retirement accounts and your spouse might get to keep the house.
You want to know what assets will be on the table to be divided before the process starts.
That way, you won’t spend time and money in the discovery phase (the part of the process where both parties exchange information with each other) searching for assets that you think your spouse is either hiding from you or not disclosing.Know this before hand while you still have access to all the accounts and other information.
It will pay off for you.This is part of being organized and getting your ducks in a row. Check out my post on getting ready for divorce that reviews some of this information.
If you haven't filed a Complaint yet, or the process only recently started, now is the time to do this. Of course, this will be easier to accomplish if you do it prior to the Complaint being filed because your spouse won't be on the defensive and more protective of the information under his/her control.