When you meet with your attorney to discuss the recommended course of action during a divorce in New Jersey, you need to bring several documents with you. This will give your attorney an idea of what you could possibly walk away from the marriage with as well as what you may want to negotiate on with your spouse for dividing property.
You’ll need to show your divorce attorney all documents related to your income, including any side income you earn. Copies of your spouse’s income documents are also helpful. The court requires a full disclosure of your income to know how to divide all marital property and assets.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which aims to divide marital property and assets fairly. This doesn’t mean it will be a 50/50 split if the court determines that isn’t fair. If you run a business, you should bring documentation of your deductions when you see your divorce attorney as well.
Most real estate you own will be marital property. If you had real estate before entering the marriage, then it’s usually yours even after the marriage. The exception is if you used marital funds to pay the mortgage or upkeep the property. Documents to prepare for your attorney meeting include a tax assessor’s statement about your real estate, refinancing documents, documents from the initial purchase and current mortgage statements. One of your documents must have a legal description of the property. You can receive this from your bank or mortgage company.
Just as assets are marital property, debts are marital debts. After a divorce, both parties are usually still liable for the debt. Ideally, you want to pay off all of your marital debts before finalizing the divorce. Bring documentation of all your debts to your attorney meeting.
Joint financial accounts
Bring records of the past three years of financial statements for your joint financial accounts as well as any personal accounts you have. New Jersey allows you to withdraw half of the joint money, but you shouldn’t spend it carelessly because it’s still marital property until the official divorce. Another way of handling the joint financial account is to freeze it until a judge determines how to divide it.
The more documentation you’re able to show your divorce attorney, the better guidance they can give you. Dividing property and assets is a complex issue, especially in an equitable distribution state.