Asset Division FAQ

Asset Division FAQ

Long Island Divorce Attorney

When it comes to divorce, the two greatest areas of contention involve asset division and child custody. Where you obtain a divorce matters since each state has its own set of unique laws that govern the allocation of assets in divorce, and these laws can vary significantly.

In New York, asset division is covered under Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(5)(d). At Samuelson Hause & Samuelson, LLP, we have provided some answers to commonly asked questions about asset division in the state of New York. If you have further questions, we encourage you to contact our office to speak directly with one of our Long Island divorce attorneys.

  • 1. Q: What does equitable distribution mean?

    A: New York's equitable distribution law does not mean that the assets are divided equally/ rather, assets are divided between the couple in a fair and equitable manner. This standard is very loose and gives considerable power to the judge to divide assets on a case-by-case basis.
  • 2. Q: What is New York's equitable distribution law?

    A: The state of New York recognizes marriage as an economic and social partnership; therefore, the law requires that a judge divide property as fairly as possible.
  • 3. Q: What is the difference between marital property and separate property?

    A: Marital property is all property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage and before the commencement of the divorce action, regardless of how title is held. Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the commencement of a divorce action, or property acquired by inheritance or gift from a party other than one's spouse. Separate property is also compensation received for personal injuries except for loss of consortium awards. The appreciation of separate property may be considered a marital asset when the assets is considered an active asset, like a business.
  • 4. Q: How is property divided in a divorce?

    A: Except where the parties have an agreement for the division of their property, the judge will determine the respective rights of the parties in their separate and marital property. Separate property shall remain separate; however, marital property shall be distributed equitably between both parties, considering the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties involved.
  • 5. Q: What factors does a judge consider when distributing marital assets equitably?

    A: There are a number of factors that a judge considers when distributing marital property, some of which include: 1) the income and property of each party, 2) the duration of the marriage, 3) the age and health of both parties, 4) the need of a custodial parent to occupy the marital residence, 5) the loss of health insurance benefits upon a divorce, 6) direct contributions to the marriage as a wage earner, a homemaker, a spouse, a parent, and to the career potential of the other spouse, 7) the wasteful dissipation of marital assets by either spouse, 8) the tax consequences of the division of assets to each party, and 9) any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

If you are heading towards divorce, contact Samuelson Hause & Samuelson, LLP.

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