Property distribution is a significant divorce topic. Understandably, people are often emotionally tied to their belongings, and the thought of splitting those assets can be overwhelming. Parties can easily disagree on who deserves which assets, leading to a court case. When a court hears a case based on this topic, it will divide assets according to equitable distribution, which is not always a 50/50 split. If you are in a contested divorce, our Suffolk County property distribution lawyer is here to help. You deserve an attorney that can protect your rights through every step of the equitable distribution process. To schedule an appointment with an experienced and compassionate attorney, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc.
Marital property & Separate property
During the equitable distribution process, New York courts will first categorize assets into marital and separate property. Simply put, marital property includes all assets brought into a marriage or obtained during a marriage. Separate property, on the other hand, includes assets owned before the marriage and not agreed to enter the marriage. However, when couples commingle assets and work together to help assets gain value, some items may not remain separate in the eyes of the court. Additional property acquired after the exchange of nuptials that could be considered separate property may include personal injury payments, gifts, and inheritances.
When a court hears a contested case regarding the division of assets, those assets will enter equitable distribution. During the equitable distribution process, courts will work to divide marital assets fairly and justly. To the surprise of many, New York courts do not divide assets evenly. Instead, they will consider various factors, including, but not limited to:
- The length of the marriage
- Heath and age of the couple
- The standard of living
- The earning capacity and income of the couple
- The value of marital assets
Allocating debts and assets
When marital property is established, a court will assign value to assets and debts. However, all assets and debts are not equally-owned. Some factors that can impact the distribution of assets include:
- The contribution to each marital asset
- The party’s financial circumstances
- Tax consequences
Marital fault and property distribution
Though marital fault may have once impacted divorce cases, New York courts have changed their approach. Marital fault no longer plays a deciding role in a court’s decision. If your spouse cheated on you, you will not automatically be entitled to a greater number of assets. That being said, if your spouse purposefully wasted assets, economic fault can play a role in the allocation of marital property.
Contact Our Property Distribution Lawyer Today
Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. provides hands-on, effective legal services to help clients through tough times. Divorce can be overwhelming and our firm will work to protect your future and guide you towards the next chapter of your life. If you need our legal guidance and representation, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. for a consultation to discuss your legal matter. Our firm has helped countless individuals through the divorce process for years, and we are ready to do the same for you.