Equitable distribution is the distribution of the property and debt shared by a divorcing couple. New Jersey uses this method to distribute property because it is considered fair. As a matter of fact, “equitable” in this case does not mean equal, but fair. Instead of dividing debts and assets 50% between divorcing spouses, the courts in New Jersey consider the future financial situation of each spouse once the marriage ends. Equitable distribution provides some flexibility, so the specific circumstances of each divorcing couple can be considered.
Mediation is a self-determination process, which permits far greater flexibility than what lawyers and judges would consider in court under equitable distribution. Mediation permits trade-offs against other economic issues such as alimony, child support, etc.
While alimony is a separate and distinct issue from equitable distribution, there may be tradeoffs between the two. Recently, New Jersey enacted a new alimony law, the details of which appear in the F.A.Q. section of this web site.
Child support is the responsibility of both parents and is based on their respective incomes, parenting time, prior obligations, etc. The courts in New Jersey have established Child Support Guidelines, which cover food, shelter and clothing expenses. Special needs, after school care, out of pocket medical expenses, vacations, sports and other enrichment activities are in addition to the basic child support. Another child support issue is the divorcing parties obligations to support post secondary education even though it may be many years in the future.
Divorcing couples are free to negotiate a division of their assets and debts however they see fit, but should consider the likelihood of the court to be less flexible under equitable distribution principles as judges and lawyers view them.
Dividing marital property that was shared in the period of blissful marriage is never an easy task. It is the role of Beverly and George to help the divorcing couple through this process. The process is based on full disclosure of both assets and debts so that both parties can make informed decisions. Mediation is a compromise. Our goal is to facilitate a fair and equitable solution. Through mediation, Beverly and George help soon-to-be-former spouses discuss their unique situation distribute their property accordingly. Call them today at 973-539-5242 or send an email to info@HaysMediation.com.
When the mediation is completed, Beverly and George will provide you with a Memorandum of Understanding in which all of the premises upon which your agreements are based as well as those agreements will be memorialized. In addition, copies of all relevant financial documentation in an indexed format will be attached. Copies of this documentation are provided to you and through you to your attorney. It provides a means to significantly reduce attorney time in preparing and reviewing the Property Settlement agreement that becomes an integral part of your divorce.