Let’s Dissolve and Divide

Feb 20, 2015

Huffington Post recently posted a throwback photo—a picture of a couple in 1999 dividing their Beanie Babies on the floor of a courtroom as part of their divorce.  The Las Vegas couple was ordered to divide their Beanie Baby collection, but was unable to do so on their own.  Their collection was valued anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 at the time.  While dividing up a collection of Beanie Babies may seem silly today, it highlights the fact that the division of even the smallest property is often hotly debated in a divorce.

 In New Jersey, for example, a court is required to equitably divide a divorcing couple’s property according to N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(h).  The court must consider a number of factors outlined in the statute when dividing property, including the duration of the marriage, the present value of the property, and the debts and liabilities of the parties. 

The court must try to fairly divide all marital property.  See Pascale v. Pascale, 140 N.J. 583 (1995).  Marital property consists of all of the assets and liabilities acquired by either party during the marriage.  Thus, the court’s first step in property division is to determine which property should be considered marital.  The court must then determine the value of all marital property, and lastly, must divide the property among the parties equitably.  See Rothman v. Rothman, 65 N.J. 219 (1974).

In most divorces, property division issues typically involve property such as bank accounts, cars, or houses.  There is, however, much more property that couples accumulate during a marriage that can cause a disagreement when it comes to property division.  If you are going through a divorce and property division is an issue, contact the experienced attorneys at Sarno da Costa D’Aniello Maceri LLC for help with your case.  Call us today at (973) 274-5200.