It would be a mistake to assume that your personal items will be protected in your divorce settlement, especially if they are of high monetary value. Read on to discover how equitable distribution law will play into your asset division agreement and how one of the seasoned Hudson County family law attorneys at Greenberg & Walden, LLC, can work hard to protect the expensive personal items that hold sentimental value and that you worked hard to possess.
What are common examples of expensive personal items?
When you think of property distribution in a divorce, you may think of your real estate, businesses, bank accounts, etc. However, personal items that have had a significant appreciation in value since their initial purchase may also be up for grabs. Below are common examples:
- Designer items:
- Engagement ring.
- Rolex watches.
- Sterling silverware.
- Fine china.
- Collectible items:
- Comic books.
- Hobby accessories:
- Golf gear.
- Camping gear.
- Musical instruments.
- Sports memorabilia:
- Autographed photos.
- Trading cards.
Why may the equitable distribution law divide my expensive personal items?
In a litigated divorce, equitable distribution law factors into how marital property will be fairly and justly divided between you and your spouse. Specifically, marital property is the property that was purchased by you and your spouse while you were married.
That said, if you purchased an expensive personal item while you were married and with your and your spouse’s joint credit card, then it will be considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution. On the other hand, if you purchased an expensive personal item before you were married, then it will be considered separate property and thus ineligible for equitable distribution.
How can I show that my expensive personal items are separate property?
Firstly, it is worth mentioning that even if you obtained your expensive personal item while you were married, it may still be considered separate property in the following circumstances:
- The item was granted as an inheritance.
- The item was granted as a gift by a third party.
- The item was granted as a gift by your spouse but with a separate source of funding.
Thus, if you believe that your expensive personal item is separate property due to any of the aforementioned possibilities, then you must provide evidence to the New Jersey court to support your claim. Such pieces of evidence may include the following:
- A receipt with the date of the purchase and the credit card used to make the purchase.
- A tracing schedule that identifies withdrawals, transfers, etc., within your accounts to buy the item.
- A photo that dates to before your marriage and that indicates the item was in your possession.
For more, contact one of our competent attorneys at our boutique New Jersey law firm located in West New York today.
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If you need assistance with any family law issue, contact Greenberg & Walden, LLC today.