Worried you won’t get anything in your New Jersey divorce? Here’s what you need to know

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

You weren’t happy in your marriage, and neither was your spouse. With that in mind, you thought that your spouse would respond favorably to the idea of a divorce — but that didn’t happen. Now, your spouse is blaming you for the marriage’s failure and threatening to take everything and leave you with nothing.

Should you be worried? Probably not.

Different states handle the division of marital property differently. In New Jersey, the courts used what is called the “rule of equitable distribution” to divide a couple’s property in a divorce. That means the court will look at each situation and try to best determine what’s fair.

In practical terms, the court will look at the following things:

  • Any written agreements you have with your spouse about the division of property and support, like a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
  • Each party’s ability to support themselves, based on things like their current income, their earning potential, their age and their health
  • The current economic standard the couple enjoys, with an eye to make things comparable after the divorce
  • Each party’s contribution to the marital assets, which includes the value of a homemaker’s services if one spouse stayed home for the family’s benefit

The court may also consider any other factors that it deems relevant when it comes time to divide things up. That being said, the fact that your spouse blames you for the problems in the marriage doesn’t mean that the court will agree. While evidence of adultery, abandonment and similar issues may influence the court’s decisions, a spouse’s general emotional dissatisfaction with you isn’t really important.

Every divorce is unique, so talk to a Hackensack attorney about your situation as soon as possible. That’s the best way to plan your divorce strategy and get a realistic perspective about what you should expect.

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