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Equitable Distribution Law in NY

Understanding How Property Is Divided in a New York Divorce

If you are going through a divorce in New York, you must think about how you want to divide your marital property. New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning divorcing couples must divide and distribute their marital property equitably. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that “equitable” means equal, as New York’s equitable distribution law only ensures that marital property is divided fairly and reasonably.

To ensure the fair and reasonable distribution of marital property, our divorce lawyers will connect you to our trusted network of financial consultants, forensic accountants, and appraisers to ensure all assets are identified and documented. Oftentimes, what seems fair to one spouse may not seem fair to the other, therefore we will guide you towards reaching a mutually agreed upon, amicable resolution with your spouse. You can count on us to ensure your best interests are protected and marital assets accounted for no matter how complex your situation may be.

To discuss your situation with us, contact our firm online or at (518) 299-0314!

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

To better understand the equitable distribution process and assets that are relevant to your particular case, you must be aware of the difference between marital and separate property. Should you hire our Schenectady attorneys, we will thoroughly address any questions or uncertainties you have along the way. In the meantime, however, it will benefit you to learn the following information concerning marital vs. separate property.

Marital Property: All property that you and your spouse earned or acquired during the marriage unless arranged otherwise.

  • Home property
  • Investment property
  • Cars
  • Boats
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Artwork
  • Cash
  • Securities
  • Stocks
  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Pensions
  • Advanced educational degrees
  • Business permits and investments
  • Gifts to each other

Separate property: All property acquired before entering the marriage.

  • Real or personal property
  • Inheritances
  • Gifts from someone other than your spouse
  • Personal injury awards (under certain circumstances)
  • Property acquired in exchange for separate property during the marriage
  • Any increase in the value of your separate property (unless the increase is from you or your spouse’s contributions during the marriage)
  • Property described as separate property in a written agreement (i.e. a prenuptial agreement)

How Judges Determine the Equitable Distribution of Property in NY

As mentioned above, marital property is not automatically split in half and equally distributed to both spouses. New York judges will instead consider the following 13 factors to determine the equitable distribution of marital property:

  • The income and property of each spouse at the time of the marriage, and at the time of the divorce
  • The length of the marriage and the age and health of both spouses
  • If there are minor children involved, the need of the spouse who has custody of the children to live in the marital residence and to use or own its household contents
  • The loss of inheritance and pension rights of each spouse because of the divorce
  • The loss of health insurance benefits of each spouse because of the divorce
  • Any award of support or maintenance the court will be making
  • Whether one spouse made contributions to marital property that the spouse does not have title to; for example, where one spouse helps the other spouse increase their ability to earn more money by getting a degree or certification
  • The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property (“liquid” means that the property can easily be converted to cash)
  • The probable future financial circumstances of each party
  • The impossibility or difficulty of determining the value of certain assets, like interests in a business, and whether one spouse should be awarded the business so it can be run without interference by the other spouse
  • The tax consequences to each party
  • Whether either spouse has wasted or used up any of the marital property while the divorce was ongoing
  • Whether either spouse transferred or disposed of marital property at less than market value, knowing that the divorce would be happening

Questions? Come to Us for Answers.

Our divorce attorneys at DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata, LLP understand that you have a lot on your mind and are overwhelmed with emotions, responsibilities, and uncertainties. To help ease the burden of your situation, allow us to handle the legalities of your case and leverage our experience, insights, and legal network to help your situation. We will ensure your marital and separate property is accurately and precisely accounted for, distributed, and legally documented so that no stone is left unturned.

We encourage you to reach out to us online or at (518) 299-0314 to schedule your free consultation and learn more. We are available 24/7 to serve you.

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