As many of you know, New Jersey is an Equitable Distribution state.  What does this really mean?  The short version is that, in a divorce, the assets and liabilities are divided in a manner that is “fair and equitable”.  A bit vague, isn’t it?  The statute speaks to fifteen different factors that might sway the division of assets and debts.

Celebrity divorces are fascinating when it comes to settlement.  According to published reports, the most expensive settlement was that paid by Michael Jordan- $168 million to his ex-wife.  Neil Diamond paid $150 million; Steven Spielberg- $100 million.  The highest paid settlement paid by a woman was Madonna to Guy Ritchie: somewhere between $76 million and $92 million. (

Obviously not all, or possibly any, of these famous people live in Equitable Distribution states (or even the U.S.)  However, it does make you ponder the meaning of equitable.  In these times, often equitable distribution is a question of how to divide debts, rather than assets.

To find out your rights and responsibilities under the Equitable Distribution laws of New Jersey, call one of our family law attorneys at 908 879 9499.