Complex Property Division
Dividing property is one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce. Complex property division involves such high-value assets as multiple homes, stock options, pension plans, closely held businesses, business executive’s benefits, investment accounts, and retirement accounts. When you are facing this type of proceeding in Monmouth County, you should consider consulting the sophisticated family law lawyers at Goldstein Law Group. We can assist you in asserting your rights and pursuing a fair division of assets when you are dissolving a marriage.Complex Property Division
New Jersey family law calls for the equitable division of property when a couple parts ways. However, as some are surprised to learn, "equitable" does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split. Spouses often disagree about what “equitable” means in their particular situation, which is why it is useful to retain an attorney experienced at handling cases involving individuals with high-value assets.
When multiple homes or closely held family businesses are at issue, the value of the properties being divided will make a big difference. We can call on experienced appraisers and accountants to work closely with us to determine the value of the property, the business interest(s), how these substantial assets should be divided, and what the tax consequences will be.
Often, a marital estate is especially complex when it has intangible assets or assets that have accumulated through years of marriage, but that have not fully matured. These may include stock options, retirement accounts, and pension plans, as well as intellectual property rights. Some spouses, for example, receive stock options as part of their compensation for work from an employer during the marriage. In many cases, these stock options may not vest until after the divorce. Similarly, an individual may not be able to use any benefits of pension plans and retirement accounts until after the marriage is over. However, the date on which the individual can access assets does not eliminate the other spouse’s interest automatically.
New Jersey courts must look at stock options, pension plans, retirement accounts, and other assets that have not fully matured on a case-by-case basis. Among the factors to consider are whether the stock options or other assets were the result of services rendered during the marriage or whether they were offered in recognition of work after the marriage is over (typically, as measured by the filing date of the complaint for divorce). In the case of spouses who are executives, there may be restricted stock or other forms of deferred compensation that require special attention.
In general, when stock options or similar assets are compensation given by the employer to reward past work that occurred during the marriage, they are included in the marital estate even if the award occurs after the marriage is over. However, only the portion that was acquired during the marriage will be considered part of the marital estate and equitably divided between the spouses.
When dividing assets, it is not enough to examine the present value of the marital property and separate them accordingly. Keeping or letting go of any assets may have significant tax consequences for both spouses, and these ramifications must be considered when evaluating a plan for property division.Enlist a Middlesex County Lawyer to Assert Your Rights During Divorce
At Goldstein Law Group, our divorce attorneys have strong academic credentials. Mark Goldstein, Esq., the firm’s founding partner, is a former practicing accountant and tax attorney. As such, he possesses a strong background in tax and accounting that uniquely qualify him to address, and he handles, complex divorce cases involving high net worth individuals in which many of these issues frequently arise. We have experience handling the issues that arise when dividing a Middlesex County marital estate that has a high value (high net worth) or complex assets. Our main office is located in Old Bridge, and we have a satellite office in Freehold, New Jersey. You can contact us at 732-967-6777 or by using our online form. Many of our clients come from East Brunswick, Manalapan, and Red Bank, among other communities.