Equitable Distribution & Property Division
Property division is one of the most emotionally-charged issues during a divorce. Although there are times in which one or both parties may be indifferent to how property is divided, in general, both parties tend to have strong opinions about how their marital property and assets will be divided.
If you are filing for divorce, it's to your advantage to work with an attorney who has extensive resources, knowledge and skill in regards to New York equitable distribution laws. We have handled extremely complex divorce cases, including high net worth cases in which the property and assets involved were substantial. We work with trusted forensic accountants, experienced property assessors, and various other professionals to learn the true value of a client's assets and make sure no aspect of his or her case is overlooked.
How is Marital and Separate Property Divided in New York?
Marital property refers to any property, money or assets that were acquired during the course of the marriage, regardless of how title is held. Upon the dissolution of a marriage, marital property will be divided and allocated based on equitable distribution laws. As an equitable distribution state, New York courts are now required to distribute marital property "equitably," regardless of which party holds the title.
Separate property, which is not subject to equitable distribution, refers to the following:
- Compensation for personal injuries;
- Compensation for personal services; retirement or pension benefits or proceeds of insurance policies owned by a party prior to the marriage;
- All property, whether real, personal or mixed, belonging to the other party at the commencement of their marriage including without limitation cash, bank accounts, money market funds, stocks, bonds, other securities, individual retirement arrangements (IRA’s), pension plans, closely held business interests, and any interest, dividends or other earnings arising therefrom or accruing thereon;
- All property acquired out of the proceeds from the sale or exchange of, or income from, property owned at the commencement of the marriage;
- The increase in value of separate property owned at the commencement of the marriage, when the enhancement is due to market conditions; and
- All property acquired by gift, devise, bequest or inheritance from third parties and the increase in value to such property.
During your initial consultation, an experienced attorney from our firm will review with you the critical facts in your case. We believe in starting with your end goals and strategizing backwards to ensure the most efficient and cost effective method of attaining your desired result.