New Jersey Marital Property Laws

When you get married, property acquired during the marriage is generally called "marital property." In contrast, property that is acquired by one spouse before marriage, as a gift, or as an inheritance, is referred to as “separate property.” This property remains separate upon a divorce, and the court will not distribute this property to the other spouse. The concept of marital property really only becomes relevant when a couple gets divorced, as it hits at the center of a main source of conflict -- who gets what after the divorce?

A few states recognize the concept of "community property," in which all property is considered to be jointly owned, but most states (including New Jersey) do not. Instead, New Jersey follows a system of equitable distribution in which the court divides up assets in a manner it deems to be fair and reasonable -- which may or cpnsist of a 50/50 split of assets. To get an idea of what the court considers when making an equitable distribution of property, take a look at some of the relevant factors below:

  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Age and physical/emotional health of each spouse;
  • Each spouse’s income;
  • The couple’s standard of living;
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse;
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the couple’s marital property (including a spouse’s contribution as a homemaker); and
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant.

The following chart lists the specifics of New Jersey marital property laws. See FindLaw's Divorce and Property section to learn more.

Community Property Recognized?

No

Dower And Curtesy

Dower and curtesy abolished as to all property obtained after May 28, 1980 (3B:28-2); some rights exist re property obtained before that date (3B:28-1, et seq.)

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New Jersey divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For additional information on New Jersey’s marital property laws, feel free to click on the links below for related resources. You can also take a look at FindLaw’s section on divorce for a more general discussion of marital property division, as well as information on other issues that may arise during a divorce (e.g. child custody, child support, etc.). Finally, if you or your spouse is considering divorce, you may want to think about consulting with or retaining an experienced divorce lawyer to help protect your legal and financial interests.

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New Jersey Marital Property Laws: Related Resources

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