Legal separation and marital property

Many married couples in Morristown often see differences and/or circumstances lead to thoughts of divorce. Oftentimes, they will opt for a separation period to see if living apart helps in dealing with the divisive issues between them. However, despite one’s intentions when going into a separation, he or she should be prepared for the idea that the marriage is coming to an end. In fact, information prepared by researchers at Ohio State Researchers and shared by USA today shows that 79 percent of separation cases end in divorce.

In some cases, couples may seek a legal separation where the court assigns certain responsibilities to the parties involved, just as they would in a divorce case. However, according to the website for the New Jersey Courts System, the state does not grant legal separations. This is important to remember for the implications that it may have for couples who separate and go on to divorce.

The mere act of living apart from one’s spouse does not change the fact that he or she is still married. Thus, any assets or property that he or she accumulates during the separation period is considered to be marital property. Where New Jersey is an equitable division state, it’s quite possible that anything acquired while separated could be included in a divorce settlement. On the other side of the coin, any debts incurred by one’s spouse during the separation could also end up being considered to be marital liabilities.

To avoid the problems that this could cause, people are encouraged to create a separation agreement on their own that covers issues like this. While some may view this as accepting the inevitability of a divorce, it will at least offer some protection over that which they acquire while separated.