When you accept getting a divorce from your spouse, you must also assume that you will lose half or nearly half of your assets in the final judgment. This may be especially true if you and your spouse did not establish a valid and enforceable prenuptial agreement before marriage. However, in the course of your marriage, you may have incurred some disability that led you to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. So, you may be wondering if this is equally up for grabs, even if your spouse does not suffer from a disability of their own. Continue reading to learn whether your SSDI benefits will be split 50/50 in your divorce and how an experienced New Jersey SSD attorney at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can help protect the assets to which you are entitled.

What is the equal distribution statute in the state of New Jersey?

Before getting into specifics, you must understand the equal distribution statute in the state of New Jersey. Essentially, this principle has the family court divide marital assets fairly and justly during a divorce. Marital assets are properties considered in the possession of or belonging to both spouses, as they were likely obtained during the marriage. This may be regardless of which of the spouse’s names is on the property title.

Further, dividing marital assets “fairly and justly” does not necessarily mean dividing “equally” in a 50/50 split. Rather, it means that each spouse may get a reasonable share of the overall net value of the marital assets, minus outstanding marital debts.

What are the chances my SSDI benefits will be split 50/50 in my divorce?

You may figure that the New Jersey family court may consider your SSDI benefits to be a marital asset if you began collecting them during your marriage. However, this consideration may not be as straightforward as this. That is, there may be extenuating circumstances at play, which may work in your favor.

On the contrary to what you may have initially assumed, SSDI benefits are generally not categorized as marital assets. However, this may change if you have been depositing your monthly payments into a joint bank account you share with your spouse. In this case, these funds may be split 50/50 at the finalization of your divorce proceedings.

But if you have been depositing these monthly payments into a bank account specifically established to hold your disability benefits, they may be exempt from the equal distribution statute. So, if you have not done so already, you should establish one of these separate bank accounts. At the very least, you may keep your monthly payments from this point forward to yourself.

If you are unsure of your next move, resort to a skilled New Jersey SSD attorney. Someone at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur will know exactly what legal option works in your best interest. So call our office today.