Search underway for man who allegedly stabbed woman as she entered. Police have asked for the public’s help in finding a man wanted for allegedly stabbing a woman last month as she walked into her Belleville home, authorities said.

Termaine Pines, 48, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, burglary and weapons-related offenses, according to a joint statement from the Belleville Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.–178660355/–178660355/–178660355/–178660355/–178660355/–178660355/–178660355/–178660355/–178660355/

The woman’s mother was later found dead at the home, but her cause of death has not been released and the charges filed against Pines were not related to her death.

Belleville police have said the case began when they responded to an area on Howard Place at 5:06 p.m. on Nov. 20 after receiving a report of an injured woman, the agencies said. They found a 54-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds who said she had been stabbed by an assailant after arriving at her home on Van Rensselaer Street, about a block away.

She told police the man fled the area after she was stabbed.

The woman was treated at a local hospital and told investigators that her mother might still be inside the Van Rensselaer Street residence, police said. Officers went to the apartment and found the woman’s 84-year-old mother unresponsive in a first-floor bedroom.

The woman, who lived in the home, was pronounced dead at the scene, but the prosecutor’s office said Friday that the cause and manner of her death was still pending a final determination by the local medical examiner’s office.

The office described the stabbing as an “isolated incident” and said there was no danger to the public. No other information about the case was released Friday.

An investigation by the agencies led to Pines being identified as a suspect in the stabbing and he was charged, the office said.

New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state, which is not the same as “equal distribution,” said Thomas Roberto, a family law attorney with Adinolfi, Lieberman, Burick, Roberto & Molotsky in Haddonfield.

In the event of divorce, marital assets and debts are divided in an equitable, or fair manner between spouses, taking into consideration the facts of each particular case, he said.

“The first inquiry for purposes of equitable distribution is whether the asset or debt at issue is marital in nature,” roberto said. “If marital, each spouse would have an equitable interest in the asset and responsibility for the debt upon divorce.”

In order to be considered “marital” and then subject to equitable distribution, the asset in question generally must have been acquired during or in contemplation of the marriage, he said.

N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(h) provides specifically for the “equitable distribution of… property, both real and personal, which was legally and beneficially acquired” by one or both spouses “during the marriage.”

Roberto said if real estate is acquired during the marriage, it is generally subject to equitable distribution at the time of divorce. This is the case regardless of whether the property is titled in the name of one or both spouses, he said.

If the real estate in question was not acquired during the marriage, whether the non-title holding spouse would have an interest in the property – and if so to what extent — would depend on the specifics of your case.

Roberto said some relevant factual considerations would include, but not be limited to: Did the parties reside in the property as husband and wife at any time during the marriage, and if so, for how long? Was the property purchased in contemplation of the marriage? Did the other spouse make financial contributions toward the acquisition and/or improvement of the property?

If the answer to all of these questions (and more) is a resounding “no,” then the simple answer may be that the other spouse has no legal claim toward the real estate, he said.

If the real estate is determined to be marital and subject to equitable distribution, it will generally be disposed of in one of two ways, Roberto said: Either one spouse retains the property — and, if appropriate, effectuates a buyout of the other spouse’s equitable interest — or the home is sold with any net proceeds or deficiency resulting from the sale to be split between the parties.

Roberto said the court does have the authority to order the sale of marital real estate, but whether or not that is an appropriate remedy depends on the specific facts of each case.

“Affordability and the benefit of retaining the home to children born of the marriage are common reasons cited by one or both spouses for desiring to retain marital real estate post-divorce,” he said.

He noted the timing of a judicial decision to force the sale of marital real estate is also a relevant consideration.

“Courts have more liberal authority to compel the sale of marital property after a trial, at the conclusion of a divorce or post-divorce proceeding, than they do mid-divorce,” he said. “On a pendente lite — Latin for `pending the litigation’ basis — there have to be some exigent circumstances justifying the court’s decision to force the sale of marital real estate, for example, in a case where not forcing the sale of the home mid-divorce may result in foreclosure or loss of the property.”

A former New Jersey Department of Corrections officer assigned to the troubled Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women admitted this week to sexually abusing a prisoner while he worked at the facility in Hunterdon County, officials said Friday.

Ronald Coleman Jr. pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact, according to Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée Robeson. Under the terms of a plea, prosecutors will recommend that Coleman give up his pension, be banned from future state employment and undergo a psychosexual evaluation.

“Mr. Coleman was employed as a senior correction officer at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Union Township when he touched the intimate body