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3 valuable assets that can be hard to address during divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Family Law |

Standard New Jersey divorce proceedings take weeks, if not months, to resolve. Spouses who can agree on certain key terms for a divorce may be able to pursue a faster uncontested divorce. Those who rely on a judge to settle disputes may have a lengthy process ahead of them.

Attempting to resolve disagreements for an uncontested filing is an admirable goal. It can diminish conflict, keep divorce costs reasonable and lead to a faster resolution for the spouses. Couples who have acquired valuable property during the marriage may find that their assets become a sticking point during divorce negotiations.

Resources with higher values tend to cause more conflict because they represent substantial investment and possibly future financial stability. The three assets mentioned below, for example, can potentially cause significant conflicts between divorcing spouses.

Real estate holdings

Many married couples decide to buy a home where they live together. They might also have a vacation home or investment properties. Real estate can be both very valuable and a source of financial stress. Maintenance and taxes can be quite expensive. People may find themselves disagreeing about who should stay at the home and what the property is worth.

Small businesses or professional practices

Some people start their own companies or take over a business. They may enjoy a better standard of living and more control over their schedule during the marriage when compared with traditional employees. Unfortunately, businesses can be challenging to handle during divorce proceedings. From choosing the right valuation method to making arrangements to have one spouse move on to a different job, there can be many divorce issues related to a business. Spouses may feel anxious about wanting to protect their interest in a company because it represents not just prior investment but also a source of future income.

Retirement savings or pensions

People may save a significant portion of what they earn during a marriage. Some of their resources may go into a special account for them to access later when they retire. Other times, continuing to work for the same company for years might result in someone accruing a substantial pension with their employer. Retirement accounts can be difficult to divide. Spouses may need to use a special document to avoid taxes and penalties. In cases involving pensions that they cannot directly divide, they may need to offset a pension’s value with other assets or arrange for ongoing support during the pension payment period.

Recognizing that certain assets are more likely than others to cause financial disputes can be beneficial for those preparing for a high-asset New Jersey divorce. The process of properly valuing assets can help people push for an appropriate share of their marital estate.