Divorce proceedings can become very long and difficult for many couples. There are many legal matters that require a great amount of attention before a couple may officially dissolve their marriage. One of the most important parts of the proceedings is deciding how to split a couple’s assets between the two of them. In some cases, a couple may be able to come to an agreement on their own without the assistance of the court. Other times, spouses may disagree and argue about who certain assets belong to. This may require them to go to court in order to resolve their problems. An experienced attorney can guide you through your divorce proceedings.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
If a couple needs the assistance of the court in order to divide their assets, a judge will be appointed to make the decisions regarding their assets for them. In order to do this, the judge must decipher which of the couple’s assets are considered marital property and which are separate property. The differences between the two are as follows:
- Marital Property: Any assets and debts acquired during the marriage. This may also include any properties from before the marriage that were then converted into marital property when the relationship began.
- Separate Property: Any assets and debts that were acquired before the marriage and were agreed to stay as separate property during the marriage. This may include other properties, gifts, and inheritance.
It is often believed that a couple’s assets are split 50/50 when they divorce. This is not always true because New York is an “equitable distribution” state. This means the couple’s assets will be fairly divided by a judge. To come to a conclusion about what is fair for the spouses, a judge will consider several different factors in the marriage. This may include:
- The age and health of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- Economic circumstances
- Each spouse’s contribution to marital property
- Any tax consequence that may apply
Typically, judges do not look into marital fault while dividing assets. Instead, they may consider if there is an economic fault. If a spouse handles their assets irresponsibly, the judge may favor the other spouse.
Many couples often wish to settle their divorce outside a courtroom. Instead of a trial, there are many other options for couples to consider. Meditation exists outside of court to allow spouses to negotiate their marital issues and come to an agreement. With the help of an unbiased third party, the couple works out a situation that is best for them. This gives them the opportunity to come to terms of separation without the help of the court.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to speak with an attorney about your division of assets, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.
Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today for a free consultation.