Equitable Distribution in New York

How Marital Property Is Divided in a New York Divorce

When it comes to division of marital property, New York is an equitable distribution state as opposed to a community property state. This refers to the allocation of marital property and separate property as a result of a divorce or legal separation. As an equitable distribution state, marital property is not automatically split equally (50/50) in New York. 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, a common question is "What am I entitled to in a divorce?" 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 Great Neck Firm Can Help 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. Our attorneys excel in divorce law and work closely with our clients to obtain successful results. We can help you secure an advantageous division of financial assets and property by negotiating on your behalf. At Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, we have more than 150 years of experience. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources you want on your side.

Contact our law firm to request your free consultation with a Long Island divorce attorney!