Law Office of
Jeffrey B.Peltz, P.C.
26 Court Street, Ste. 503
Brooklyn, New York 11242
Telephone: (718) 625-0800
New York views marriage as an economic partnership. In a divorce, it may not necessarily be fair for each party simply to get half of the assets that they own as a couple. Property may have been bought during the marriage and is in only one party’s name, or one party may need more than half of the assets due to circumstances.
New York courts follows the doctrine of Equitable Distribution when deciding on how to divide property. What this means is that the court will try to divide up property fairly.
The first step is to determine which property is subject to equitable distribution and which is separate. While all property is considered subject to equitable distribution, including businesses, real estate, retirement accounts and pensions, there are several major exceptions to this rule, including the following:
Property that would be considered separate can become marital property during the marriage if it was put in both names or otherwise commingled. For example, if the owner of a bank account adds the spouse’s name to that account, the money in that account is subject to equitable distribution. Separate property can also become at least partially marital property if its value was increased due to the efforts of the non-titled spouse. The increased value would be subject to equitable distribution. For example, if one party purchased a house in his or her own name prior to marriage, but, after the marriage began, the party’s spouse contributed his or her own money to renovate the house. The increased value of the house due do the renovation is subject to equitable distribution.
Once the parties agree, or, absent such an agreement, the court determines which property is subject to equitable distribution, the parties may agree, or, absent such an agreement, the court will determine a fair apportionment of the property between the parties. Among the things that the court will take into consideration are the following:
This section provides a general overview of the law in New York concerning how property is divided in a divorce. Often, the court's decision will be guided by the unique facts of the case before it.
If you need an attorney in regard to the division of assets and property call us at (718) 625-0800 to schedule a free consultation.
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