What It Is:
In a divorce proceeding, not all the property held by the couple is equally divided between the two spouses. The process is actually significantly more complex. The state of New York is by law, an equitable distribution state. Equitable Distribution deals with the division of property.
Unless a couple comes to their own agreement on the distribution of their property, a judge will decide how it should be divided based on what he deems to be equitable or fair.
How It Works:
In order to make his decision, the judge first divides the property into two categories which includes separate property and marital property.
Separate property includes any asset owned by an individual prior to the marriage. It may also include certain assets purchased after marriage if they were bought using monies held by one partner prior to the union. In order for property purchased after marriage to be considered separate the judge must determine that only one spouse has a financial claim to that property.
Marital property refers to all other items purchased by the couple after the marriage. It also includes a number of other financials, including, wages of both individuals and their retirement funds. Any asset deemed to be separate property is retained by the spouse who purchased it or has a rightful claim to it. The judge will then evaluate all the marital property to determine how it is to be distributed.
What Is Considered:
In equitable distribution, a number of factors are taken into account. The judge will consider numerous factors, from each individual’s age and health to the duration of the marriage. The presence and amount of required alimony payments is another factor. Additionally, special consideration will be given to the spouse that has custody of the children, if there are children involved in the divorce.
What Can Be Done:
This process can be very overwhelming and confusing for the individuals involved. It is important for someone considering divorce proceedings to understand fully their options and the possible outcomes. An experienced and knowledgeable law firm is essential in determining Equitable Distribution and is truly invaluable help in this procedure.
Contact Us for a No Cost, No Obligation Consultation
Whether you have made the tough decision to obtain a divorce, or are pursuing a separation from your spouse or need legal counsel to help fight for your rights to see and be a part of your children’s lives call The Law Offices of Michael J. Alber, ESQ., 631-462-6900 or email us at MALBER@ALBERLEGAL.COM. Take advantage of our free initial consultation to discuss your matter and find out whether we can help you achieve your goals.