Can Assets Within a Trust be Divided in a New Jersey Divorce?

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There are many different parts of a divorce. One of the more contested matters that spouses tend to focus on is the division of assets. This separates the couple’s property and assets between the two of them. This can be difficult, as spouses usually do not want to give up anything that they cherish. This is especially so if one spouse is meant to inherit assets from a trust. Continue reading below to learn more about these situations and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance. 

Can Inherited Assets be Subject to Equitable Distribution?

In New Jersey, courts divide a couple’s assets based on the process of equitable distribution. This is a fair division of property between both parties. It is important to know this does not necessarily mean the division will be equal. To determine what is fair, the court will establish what is marital property and what is separate property. Separate property consists of assets that are inherited before the marriage or converted into marital property. In New Jersey, inherited assets are considered separate property and are not subject to equitable distribution. This means they cannot be given to another spouse in a divorce. 

However, it is important to note there is an exception to this, If an inherited asset is mixed with a marital asset, it may no longer be exempt from division. For example, if the beneficiary deposits their inheritance into an account with their spouse or converts an asset into marital property, it can be subject to equitable distribution. This may also be the case if an inheritance produces an income or generates growth.

Can an Inheritance be Used for Support?

Generally speaking, inherited assets are usually exempt from being divided in a divorce. While this is true, there are other situations in which an inheritance can be used after a divorce. This may be the case in the event of support payments, such as alimony or child support.

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If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.