Long Island Divorce Law Firm Manages Complex Asset Division
Aggressive representation in Nassau and Suffolk protects your property rights
New Yorkers with significant assets need experienced legal representation during their divorce. Your financial future depends greatly on getting a fair allocation of your marital property. Asset division also affects how the court rules on alimony. If you want to maintain your lifestyle and your standard of living, you need a law firm that is ready to fight for you. Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. has the determination, the resources and the will to fight and win for you. We are Long Island’s largest family law and divorce law firm, in large part because clients trust us to take aggressive steps to secure their financial future. If you are worried that you’ll lose a portion of property that is purely personal to you, that you won’t get a fair share of the wealth you and your spouse hold in common, or that you might get saddled with debt your spouse rang up against your wishes, Salamone & Associates can assert your rights vigorously and work diligently toward a fair resolution.
How New York divides marital assets in divorce
New York is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court sets out to divide assets and obligations in a manner that is fair, but not necessarily equal. The process requires that you and your spouse make full financial disclosures, so the court can examine all your holdings:
There are four essential stages in this process, and our firm guards your interests every step of the way:
- Identification — At this stage, the spouses disclose all of their assets and debts. This is the point at which some spouses attempt to hide assets. We use the discovery process to uncover these hidden assets. We have the experience to spot red flags and clues that might not be so obvious. We pinpoint where a spouse may have made a fraudulent transfer and work to unwind that transaction to return the wealth to the marital estate. We also look for unreported income that our client has a right to share.
- Categorization — Once the assets and debts are revealed, the court must decide whether they are separate or marital property. The basic rule is that anything owned prior to marriage is separate, and any wealth or debt accumulated during the marriage goes into the marital estate to be divided. But there are exceptions. Gifts and inheritances received during the marriage are separate property if they were meant for only one of the spouses and were not commingled during the marriage. Many couples have prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that designate property as separate or marital, but not every marital agreement is enforceable. At this stage, it’s easy to lose your rights to certain property, so our lawyers act decisively to protect your interests.
- Valuation —Once the assets are placed in the marital pool, the court must assign a value to them. Certain assets, such as stock options, real estate and ongoing businesses, are difficult to assign a fixed dollar value. This stage often becomes a battle of financial experts, and we retain highly reputable and reliable experts to assess your holdings to get an accurate valuation.
- Allocation — This is the stage where the court decides who gets what and how much. As stated earlier, equitable distribution does not guarantee an even split. Rather, the court looks at numerous factors in deciding what would constitute a fair distribution. A 401(k) is easy enough to divide once you know how much to give each party. The real difficulty is dispensing with non-liquid assets, such as the family home, that represent the lion’s share of the couple’s wealth. If one spouse gets the house, is there enough left to compensate the other spouse? Our attorneys work tirelessly to deliver a fair result.
Your future financial security depends on a fair distribution of assets. Make sure you have experienced legal counsel that knows how to win.
Contact Long Island’s largest divorce law firm for help with asset distribution
Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. has a well-deserved reputation for aggressive representation in property disputes. A dedicated divorce and family law attorney is ready to meet with you. Call us immediately at 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.