Equitable distribution is the division of marital property based on the needs of each spouse and what is fair in the divorce. Equitable distribution does not have a set formula as it varies from case to case. Often, it is left to the discretion of the judge if the divorce reaches trial. An experienced divorce attorney can answer any questions related to equitable distribution in New York. This article will examine equitable distribution to describe what it is and how courts determine it.
Factors Considered in a New York Divorce
When a couple living in New York decides to divorce, courts consider the following factors when determining equitable distribution:
- The health and the age of both spouses
- The property and income of each spouse at the date the marriage began and when the couple filed for divorce
- Any domestic requirements held by the custodial parent
- The future needs of each spouse financially
- Disbursements of alimony
Determining Marital Property
One of the most important aspects of equitable distribution is determining what assets are marital property. Marital and separate property will require appropriate categorization and valuation before equitable distribution can take place. Marital property is all property and income acquired and earned during the marriage. Please understand that even if you kept a separate checking or savings account during your marriage, it could become marital property in a divorce.
Couples Can Divide Property Themselves
Should you wish to handle the divorce agreement with your spouse and a mediation attorney, you can do so without having to appear in front of a judge. This alternative means that you will be able to determine how to divide property without following equitable distribution requirements that judges in family law courts must follow.
Not All Property Is Marital Property
It’s important to note that not all property is marital property, even if you both acquired the property during the marriage. For example, any property attained via inheritance, gift, or descent is not marital property. Also, any property acquired during the marriage via a written agreement is not marital property. Any property you or your spouse receives after the date you filed for divorce is separate property.
Equitable Distribution Doesn’t Mean Equal
Equitable distribution does not mean that the division of property in a divorce will be equal. It merely means that there will be a fair division of property. If your spouse quit their job to raise children, he or she will receive an equitable portion of the marital estate for them to get back on their feet financially. This outcome could mean that you receive less in the division of assets.
Contact a Divorce Attorney in New York
If you have questions about the equitable distribution of assets or are ready to file for divorce in New York, contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your case. Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. has a team of skilled attorneys who are familiar with equitable distribution and can help you reach a favorable agreement after a divorce. Call us today at 877-826-7257 to schedule a free consultation and secure the assets you deserve.