New Jersey's Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets
In New Jersey, how marital property is divided when a marriage comes to an end through a divorce is governed by the equitable distribution of marital assets. Equitable distribution of property in New Jersey includes both personal property and real estate. It typically does not matter whether property was acquired individually or jointly, as long as the property was acquired during the marriage, it is subject to equitable distribution. Generally, assets acquired either before or after the marriage are not subject to equitable distribution. The date of filing of the divorce complaint is often treated as the cutoff date for equitable distribution, meaning that any property acquired after that date is often not distributed.
Property division can be one of the most contentious issues when a couple decides to get divorced. The process can be difficult enough when it involves more straightforward assets such as real estate, cars or money. Property division can become much more complicated if you and your spouse own a business in Ocean County, either alone or together.
Three Ways to Divide A Business During a Divorce
When a couple's assets involve a business, the division of property becomes more complicated. A business started by you or your spouse before marriage may not be considered a marital asset and therefore may not be divided during the divorce. Generally a business started during the marriage, however, is a marital asset and its value must be placed in the pool of assets to be divided in the divorce.
Both Continue to Work in the Business
If you and your spouse own and work in the business together, dividing it could be very difficult. It is possible that you can continue operating the business jointly even after a divorce. With special agreements that protect your interests and decision-making authority, it is possible for couples divorcing amicably to make this work.
One Spouse Keeps the Business
If the business was started during the marriage, but one spouse had the primary role of running the business, or even if the business was run jointly but one spouse has a greater desire to continue the business, it may make sense for that spouse to keep the business. The business can be allocated to that spouse and the other spouse can be compensated with other marital assets or through future payouts.
Sell the Business and Split the Proceeds
The other option is to sell the business and divide the profits. This way both parties are free to look elsewhere for another business or even to retire. The problem here can be in finding a buyer in a timely manner. Sometimes, it can take a while to sell a business. In the meantime, until the business is sold, decisions will need to be make regarding whose business it is and who will run it.
Experienced Divorce Attorneys
There are many different ways in which the division of a business can be structured during a divorce and it is essential that you speak to an experienced Toms River attorney to develop the best possible plan. The attorneys at Villani & DeLuca can work with you to establish the solution that best meets your needs. If you have made the decision to get divorced, you should contact Villani & DeLuca so one of our experienced family law attorneys can work with you to protect your rights and interests throughout the divorce process. Call us today for a free consultation at 732-965-3404.