During a divorce, one of the most essential steps is the equitable distribution of marital property. This means that all the money and property acquired by the couple during their marriage will be divided between the two of them. However, dividing up the property isn’t as simple as adding up the value of all the couple’s assets and dividing them in half, because equitable distribution is not the same thing as equal distribution.
When property in a divorce is being divided under equitable distribution, several factors are taken into consideration by the court, and they don’t require the marital property be distributed in fully equal shares. If there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, of course, that will be a significant factor, but not necessarily the deciding factor. The individual behavior of each spouse may be considered during the distribution, such as allegations of adultery or domestic abuse.
There are other potential factors that may be considered as well. If a spouse is awarded spousal support (the modern name for alimony) or child support, for example, the amount they receive under equitable distribution might be adjusted accordingly. Additionally, if one spouse winds up with the family house or car, that could affect the amount they are awarded in other areas. The point of equitable distribution is to be fair to both spouses and accommodate their needs as best as possible, while also keeping in mind extenuating factors that might make a more unequal distribution more appropriate.
The Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney are experienced in helping individuals going through a divorce, including handling matters related to equitable distribution, child custody, and more. The attorneys at the firm understand that divorce is an extremely emotional and difficult time for anyone to go through. If you going through a divorce and are in need of legal representation, call The Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney at (973) 256-0456 or fill out our contact form for a consultation.