Long Island Equitable Distribution Attorney
refers to the allocation of marital property and separate property as a result of a divorce
. New York is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is not automatically split equally (50/50). Rather, equitable distribution law demands consideration of a variety of personal and financial factors before marital property is distributed between spouses.
Equitable Distribution Factors
When spouses decide to divorce or separate, they must divide their marital assets. Marital assets are, generally, all property that is acquired throughout the duration of the marriage. If spouses cannot agree upon the terms of their property distribution, they must rely upon a divorce court to allocate the property for them. According to equitable distribution law, the court must consider the following factors before dispensing marital property:
- the length of the marriage and the age and health of each party
- the earning power of each spouse
- the separate property of each spouse
- the contributions of each spouse, including as a homemaker, to the marital partnership and acquisition of assets
- direct or indirect contributions of one spouse to the career of the other
- any transfer of assets or encumbrance made in contemplation of a divorce action without fair consideration
- any wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse
- the need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence
- whether (and in what amount) spousal support has been awarded
- the probable future financial circumstances of each party
Each of these factors will greatly impact how the marital property will be distributed between the two spouses.
Separate property is not subject to equitable distribution laws. This means that any separate property a spouse has will remain in his/her possession. Separate property includes all possessions acquired before the marriage commenced, property inherited or given as a gift by a third party, and any compensation for personal injuries. However, improvements to separate property may be marital. Also, mixing marital and separate property may render all the property marital.
Contact a Long Island property division and divorce lawyer at our law firm today!