Distribution of Assets a/k/a Equitable Distribution
When parties divorce, the law requires an equitable — but not necessarily equal — distribution of the assets and liabilities that arose during the marriage. In New Jersey, after a divorce complaint is filed, both parties will be required to fill in a Case Information Statement (CIS). This is a very detailed documentation of all income, assets, and liabilities. It is a discovery tool for financial evidence needed to determine alimony, child support, and equitable distribution.
One of the biggest assets or liabilities can be the marital home. Usually, both parties are on the mortgage and will no longer both want to remain liable for the mortgage payment. Similarly, joint credit cards and any other jointly held instruments can bind both parties until they are paid off.
If the mortgage is more than the house is worth, it is called being “under water.” Both parties named on the mortgage are responsible for it. Choices have to be made about whether or not to sell the house, whether bankruptcy is an option, or if one party can afford to buy the other out. Tanya N. Helfand, Esq. is also a bankruptcy attorney and can analyze the options available.
In all aspects of law, the accuracy and availability of evidence is important. Tax returns are helpful, however, in cases where there are businesses, corporate benefits, stock plans, and pensions, an expert may be needed to be sure the asset or debt is correctly identified.
People sometimes do not have all records or do not voluntarily make them available. The lawyers must then use the courts and other techniques to compel the production of the financial evidence needed. It is very important that the evidence gathered is thorough. This is done through use of persistent legal businesslike methods to ensure that the result will be fair to our clients.
Tanya Helfand of Schenck Price diligently follows through to get all the information needed for the financial aspects of divorce.