What to Know About Equitable Distribution in New York
In New York, the standard for divorcing couples is that their property will be divided in an equitable manner. Note that this does not necessarily mean an equal division, but instead a fair one. When making decisions regarding asset distribution, courts will consider what each spouse brought to the marriage and what each will need once the marriage has ended.
Some of the specific factors a judge will consider include the following:
- The income and property each spouse had at the time of marriage and the time of the divorce filing
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Any pension, inheritance rights and health insurance either spouse will lose due to the divorce
- Whether the court has awarded or will award alimony
- Whether the marital property is liquid or non-liquid
- Each spouse’s likely financial circumstances in the future
- The tax consequences of the divorce and asset distribution to each spouse
- Whether either spouse has purposefully wasted marital assets
- Whether either spouse has transferred marital property to another person or entity as a means of avoiding distribution
Only property acquired during the course of the marriage is divided by the court, with a few exceptions, such as inheritance or gifts. Examples of marital property include any income earned during the marriage by either spouse, the property purchased using that income, other properties purchased while married, retirement benefits either spouse earned during marriage and the appreciation of any assets (such as real estate or valuables) accrued during the marriage. Businesses and professional practices are also subject to equitable distribution if they can be classified as marital property.
For more information regarding equitable distribution laws in New York, meet with an experienced Long Island divorce attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.