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Property Division/Equitable Distribution

Equitable Distribution in a New York Divorce

Protecting Your Property in a Complex Divorce

Spouses considering divorce should understand how property division will affect their various assets. New York is an equitable distribution state. This does not mean that marital property will be divided “equally” but rather “equitably”. Equitable distribution allows a party in a divorce to seek a share of specific marital assets.

Property division and equitable distribution as a whole can be extremely complex, particularly in high net worth cases and those involving a great deal of varied property. It may not be immediately clear what is considered marital assets and what are separate assets. You will need a lawyer to work with you and help determine what property should be classified in what way – in order to best protect your assets and interests.

New York Equitable Distribution Lawyer

Friedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law is a New York family law firm taking on property division disputes and cases throughout Long Island, New York. With over 35 years of legal experience, attorney Sari Friedman is extremely knowledgeable regarding divorce and equitable distribution in New York. Our team then uses this knowledge to effectively represent our clients’ interests and help to safeguard their financial stability during a divorce.

Generally speaking, those assets which are obtained after the date of marriage and before filing for a divorce or separation agreement are considered marital assets. These assets are frequently divided equally, but this may not always be the case and will vary depending upon your particular situation.

Assets acquired before a marriage or after the commencement of a divorce or separation action are considered separate assets and are generally not subject to equitable distribution. There are exceptions to this rule, however, just as there are exceptions to assets which are considered to be marital assets. Generally, inherited property not co-mingled is separate property even if acquired during the marriage. An experienced lawyer will need to review your particular situation in order to help determine what should be separate and what should be marital assets.

Separate Property May Include:

  • Real estate owned prior to the marriage
  • Gifts or inheritances prior to the marriage or after the divorce
  • Any value increase in separate property that was acquired before or after the marriage
  • Property that was defined as separate in a valid postnuptial or prenuptial agreement

How Is a House Divided in a Divorce?

Before dividing the family home, you will need to determine if it is considered marital or separate property. What this means is that if you and your spouse purchased your family home together after getting married, your house is considered marital property and will be divided in a manner the court deems fair. On the other hand, if one spouse purchased the house before you were married and did not put their spouse’s name on the title of the house, this house would be considered separate property.

Your family home may also be considered commingled (or mixed) property, which is what happens when each spouse uses their own funds (separate assets) to pay for marital property. Dividing your family home gets more difficult if it becomes commingled property. It is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney to help you with this process.

When marital and separate properties are commingled, a judge may combine your separate property together with your marital property and divide it accordingly. The judge will take your individual contributions into consideration and divide the marital property after. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help you protect your property from becoming part of the marital estate.

Friedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law

You need a skilled property division attorney on your side immediately in the event that you are facing property division. Equitable distribution law is complex, and you will benefit by having a skilled lawyer to represent your interests.

Contact a lawyer today at (516) 688-0088 to discuss the terms of your property division and how equitable distribution will affect this.

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