New Jersey Divorce Attorney Explains What Happens to Your Personal Belongings
As an experienced New Jersey Divorce Attorney, clients want to know, “What happens to my personal belongings when I go through a divorce?” My simple answer is, “They’ll stay with you.” But, what does that mean, exactly? If, for example, your spouse once gave you a watch, some jewelry or some other gift, those items can remain with you; however, half the value of those items is credited to your spouse. Let’s use a watch, for example. Somebody was given a watch, originally valued at $10. At the time of divorce, the value is $8, so the spouse is entitled to $4. You’ll either give up the watch or the $4.
What if you owned certain items before you were married? For example, you had uncle Larry’s old mahogany desk from 1920. It’s a historical piece, an antique, and precious to you, and it’s going to stay with you. If you brought it into the marriage, it stays with you. If you acquired that desk during the marriage (between the actual date you were married and the date the complaint for divorce was filed), it is part of the marital pot that’s subject to the equitable distribution process.
Make a list of your personal items right away. As you prepare to head into a divorce, one of the first things you should do is identify specific items you want to keep. Also, list where the other items came from. Are they inherited property. Were they gifts? Then, get with an experienced attorney who can explain things to you, saying, “Listen. This piece of property is not going to stay with you. It is part of the marital pot, so it’s got to be split. If you decide to keep it, you’ve got to set a value on it and pay your spouse a certain share of that.” The basic answer is that, although your items – your personal items – are going to come with you, you may have to pay something to your spouse if it was an interspousal gift that still has monetary value.
Are you afraid that you will lose your personal belongings in divorce? Contact New Jersey Divorce Attorney Christopher Leon Garibian for knowledgeable advice.
Christopher Leon Garibian, Esq. is a partner in the matrimonial and family law department of Weiner Law Group LLP. He has over 19 years of experience handling a multitude of Divorce and Family Law Matters throughout New Jersey. He is passionate about family law and takes pride in his ability to effectuate real change in the lives of his clients. He is certified by the State Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Attorney. If you are in need of an experienced Divorce Attorney or Family Law Attorney in NJ, contact us today for compassionate, long lasting legal solutions.