Knowledgeable New York Property Division Lawyer
If you are considering divorce, you may be worried about how the assets you’ve accumulated during your marriage will be divided. For high-net-worth couples the issues of distributing property are particularly complex; the assets to be equitably distributed may include sophisticated assets like complex investments, real estate, closely held or family-run businesses, stock options and retirement benefits.
You are right to be concerned. You need someone with the experience and skill to give you useful and practical advice. You need an attorney who can protect your interests and guide you through the equitable distribution of property in your divorce.
At Clement Law, we can give you the effective counsel you need. We advise clients in New York and New Jersey on family law matters, including the equitable distribution of marital assets and debts.
Dividing Marital Property
Marital property is broadly defined as all property acquired by the parties, individually or jointly, from your wedding day through the date you or your spouse files for divorce or you both sign a New York separation agreement. Separate property, like inherited property, gifts from third parties to one of the parties and a personal injury recovery, is generally exempt from equitable distribution.
Marital property can be distributed even if it is held solely in the name of one of the parties. For instance, if you and your spouse purchased a home during your marriage, but put title to the property in your spouse’s name, the home will be considered marital property and distributed equitably when you divorce in New York.
It is important that you understand that when dividing marital assets as part of a divorce, equitable does not mean equal. Assets do not have to be distributed 50/50. An experienced New York family law attorney will make sure you receive your fair and equitable share of the marital assets.
Examples of Marital Property
The types of property that may be equitably distributed are endless. Common examples include:
- The marital home
- Vacation homes
- Household furnishings
- Bank accounts
- Stock portfolios
- Pensions and retirement plans
- Interests in businesses
- Professional degrees
In New York, a party’s “enhanced earning capacity”—which includes the value of any degree, license or certification obtained during the marriage—can be distributed.
New York's Statutory Provisions for the Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
In New York, a court will consider the following statutory factors when equitably distributing marital property:
- The income and property of each party at the time of marriage and at the time of commencement of action
- The duration of marriage and the age and health of both parties
- The need of custodial parent to occupy or own marital residence or to use or own household effects
- The loss of inheritance rights and pension rights upon dissolution as of date of dissolution
- Any award of maintenance
- Any equitable claim to or interest in, or direct or indirect contribution to the acquisition of the marital property by the party not having title, including joint efforts or expenditures and contributions and services a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker and to the career or career potential of the other party
- The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property
- The probably future financial circumstances of each party
- The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component asset or interest in a business, corporation or profession; and the desirability of retaining the asset, or interest in the business, corporation or profession free from any claim or interference by the other party
- The tax consequences to each party
- The wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse
- Any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair considerations
- Any other factor which the Court shall expressly find to be just and proper
Separate Property Not Subject to Equitable Distribution
Separate property is not equitably distributed. Separate property is broadly defined as:
- Property acquired before marriage or by bequest, devise, descent or gift from a party other than the spouse
- Compensation for personal injuries
- Property acquired in exchange for or the increase in value of separate property
- Any property described as separate property in a written agreement between the parties
Keep What Is Rightfully Yours. Work With Attorney Daniel Clement.
The division of the assets in your case depends on many factors. Daniel Clement uses his more than 25 years of experience to handle the legal issues of equitable distribution in divorce. Contact Daniel Clement online to discuss your property rights as part of an action to dissolve a marriage. You can also reach us by phone at 212-683-9551.