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Family Law: Property Settlement Agreements

NJ Family Lawyers and Divorce Attorneys

Property Settlement Agreements (496)

One of the major aspects of the divorce process is dividing up the marital property.

All assets acquired during a marriage -- no matter whose name they are titled in, whether it be a house, a 401(k), or a business -- are subject to equitable distribution. Likewise, all debts, such as credit card debts, acquired during the marriage are also subject to equitable distribution.

New Jersey is an “equitable property” state meaning all assets and debts should be divided equally between the parties. But there are various factors that go into determining a fair and equitable way to divide the assets and debts so that both parties share the benefit and/or burden equally. At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, our NJ family lawyers and divorce attorneys can help you negotiate a fair and equitable settlement.

In most cases, parties will reach an agreement as to how they want to divide the marital property. When parties cannot reach an agreement, the matter must be litigated in court. This leaves a judge to decide how to divide the assets and debts. If parties do reach an agreement, they can enter into a Property Settlement Agreement. This is essentially a written contract governing how the property is going to be split up. It is usually best to get an attorney to help you draft such an agreement to ensure that your interests are protected.

In the New Jersey family court system there is a tremendous pressure to settle divorce cases. The plain truth of the matter is that there are too many divorce cases, and not enough judges to have a trial for all of them. 98% of divorce cases are settled before a trial. Moreover, going to trial is very expensive. Legal fees can be high. Moreover, the parties will have to spend a significant amount of monies on expert witnesses to testify at trial. The parties will also have to produce real estate appraisers, pension experts, stock market experts, business appraisers, and or accountants. These experts are not cheap, and they charge thousands of dollars to come to trial and testify. Therefore, in most cases it is a win-win situation if a reasonable settlement can be achieved.

Settlement agreements are agreements where divorcing couples determine their rights and responsibilities after the divorce. A settlement agreement, or a PSA (Property Settlement Agreement) is a contract between the spouses, and it determines the issues in the divorce case. The issues addressed in the PSA include alimony and child support, custody, parenting time, debts, and distribution of property subject to division. By negotiating a settlement, the parties can make their own legally enforceable contract, and avoid years of litigation, expensive legal fees, and years of stress.

At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., our New Jersey family lawyers and divorce attorneys can help you determine what entitlements you may or may not have to certain property. We can help you negotiate a settlement that suits you and your family’s needs. Our goal is to help clients get divorced and move on with their lives in a way that is meaningful and financially sound.

 

 

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