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In Divorce And Other Family Law Matters

How Division Of Assets Is Determined In A Divorce Case

State law in New York provides for what is termed an “equitable distribution” of assets in divorce. This does not mean that all assets will be divided 50/50, but that upon dissolution of marriage, when the two parties have not come to a mutually agreed-upon settlement, the court will consider the complex statutory factors to determine how the assets accrued during the marriage are to be divided.

Marital property is defined by statute as being that property that was acquired after the date of marriage, no matter in which party’s name title is held. There are certain properties that will not be included in marital property, such as in cases where the property was purchased after the marriage but using separate funds from an inheritance to make the purchase.

Personal injury settlements, gifts from third parties and inheritance funds are considered separate property and are not subject to distribution between the parties. A Nassau County divorce lawyer will assist individuals who need to know what is likely to occur and to protect their rights under equitable distribution laws. This requires a case-specific evaluation of all property and the actual financial circumstances of both parties during the marriage and prior to the commencement of the action for divorce.

Court Decision And Marital Property Distribution

The court considers the numerous statutory factors when determining how to divide assets between the parties to a divorce where settlement proved unworkable. These factors include the income of each spouse, both at the time of the marriage and at the time the divorce action was initiated, and the future potential earning ability of each party. Property owned by each party at the time of the marriage and at the time of commencement of the divorce action, the length of the marriage, the current state of health of each party, as well as their age, whether an inheritance could be lost through marriage dissolution, and pension funds that will be lost in divorce, are additional factors that will be considered by the court.

Spousal maintenance and the amount and duration of such awards will be part of the financial evaluation. So will matters regarding ownership of businesses and other assets, tax consequences, cost of health insurance, jointly-owned property, as well as the contributions made by one party to the other throughout the marriage. The legal analysis is fact-driven, and it is crucial to your legal protection that you consult with competent counsel to best understand what you will be facing in court. Many choose to use mediation or collaborative divorce as an alternative process to court-run litigation. Unfortunately, these alternatives to litigation are viable only when the parties have a meeting of the minds; when this does not occur, seeking court intervention becomes the only viable option.

Protect your right to advantageous property distribution. Contact our divorce lawyer at Jane K. Cristal, P.C., for aggressive and strategic representation in Long Island.