Equitable Distribution in Divorce
How Marital Property Is Divided in a New York Divorce
When it comes to property division, equitable distribution refers to the allocation of marital property and separate property as a result of a divorce or legal separation. New York is an equitable distribution state, which means marital property is not automatically split equally (50/50). Rather, equitable distribution law demands consideration of a variety of personal and financial factors before the marital property will be distributed between spouses.
Equitable Distribution Factors
When spouses decide to divorce or separate, they must divide their marital assets. Generally, marital assets are any and all property acquired throughout the duration of the marriage. If spouses cannot agree on the terms of their property distribution, they must rely upon a divorce court to allocate the property for them. Our Long Island divorce lawyers will work tirelessly to help you secure a fair divorce settlement, so contact us to learn more.
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 to the marital partnership
- 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
- Any wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse
- The need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence
- If (and in what amount) spousal support has been awarded
- The probable future financial circumstances of each party
Does "Separate Property" Affect Equitable Distribution?
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, 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 property marital.
Our Firm Is Here to Help You Secure a Fair Divorce Settlement
Unfortunately, the equitable distribution process doesn’t always result in an equal or fair division of property. In New York, family law judges are not required to split your assets 50/50, or “down the middle,” which is why it would be wise to secure the help of a seasoned divorce lawyer in Long Island. At Wisselman & Associates, we have more than 150 years of experience. We have the knowledge, skill, and resources you want on your side.
Contact our law firm to request your free consultation with a Long Island divorce attorney!