I want more than half….

I cannot tell you how many times a client or potential client comes to my office and says they are entitled to more than half of all of the assets. Sometimes a client will tell me that they want to give their spouse nothing. I tell them that is unrealistic.

It is a rare, almost non-existent case where one spouse will receive nothing out of the property acquired during the marriage in New York. There are a number of factors which govern how Judges should decide in New York about the division of marital property.

Expectations vs. Reality in Asset Division

Common Misconceptions

Many clients walk into a divorce attorney’s office with firm beliefs about asset division that are often based more on emotions than on law. One spouse may feel they deserve the majority of the marital assets due to the other spouse’s behavior or perceived lack of contribution to the marriage. However, these expectations are frequently misaligned with the legal framework in New York.

Legal Standards for Asset Division

New York follows the equitable distribution law, which means that marital property is not automatically split 50/50 but rather in a way that is fair and equitable. The first thing a judge will consider is whether the parties have lived together for most of the marriage and whether there are children involved. A sustained domestic partnership typically leads judges to lean towards an equal split unless compelling reasons suggest otherwise.

Factors Influencing Unequal Distribution

While it is rare for one spouse to end up with nothing, there are circumstances under which an unequal distribution of assets may be warranted. For instance, if one spouse has been abusive, has a drug addiction, or refuses to work, these behaviors can influence a judge’s decision. However, even in these cases, the “less contributing” spouse might still receive a significant portion of the assets. Judges are inclined to ensure that both parties leave the marriage with their basic financial needs met, which means that complete disinheritance is exceptionally uncommon.

Setting Realistic Goals

Entering divorce proceedings with an open mind and realistic expectations is crucial. Clients should focus on achieving a settlement that reflects their contribution to the marriage while also being fair to the other party. This approach not only respects the legal standards but also contributes to a less contentious and more amicable divorce process.

Be Realistic in Your Divorce

Understanding the realities of asset division is essential for anyone going through a divorce in New York. While you may feel entitled to a larger share of the assets, it is important to recognize that the law seeks a fair and equitable distribution based on a wide range of factors. Setting realistic expectations can help you approach your divorce negotiations more effectively and with a clearer understanding of the likely outcomes.

Hiring a New York City Divorce Attorney

If you are considering a divorce in New York and have questions about asset division, contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing you with the guidance and advocacy you need to navigate the complexities of divorce law and to ensure that your interests are protected. 

Don’t navigate this challenging time alone—let us help you achieve a fair resolution that sets you up for a stable future.

Contact us at 877-826-7257 today to get expert-guided legal representation.

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