When you and your spouse decide to get a divorce in New York, one of the most critical issues to address is how to divide the assets you and your spouse share. The assets you receive (or do not receive) after a divorce can have a huge impact on your financial future. You need to know that you have enough resources to maintain your standard of living and provide for yourself, as well as for any children in your custody.
The best way to ensure you receive your fair share of marital assets in a divorce is to work with an experienced New York divorce attorney. The New York City asset division lawyers at the Mandel Law Firm have ample experience helping people claim their fair share of marital assets in a divorce. We’ve shared information about asset division and divorce in New York below.
What Does New York Law Say About Dividing Assets in a Divorce?
State law requires a couple’s shared assets to be divided “equitably” in a divorce, which does not necessarily mean an even split. Once you or your spouse have filed for a divorce, the two of you can attempt to work out how to divide your shared assets yourselves, though the agreement must still be approved by the courts. If you and your spouse cannot reach a compromise on how to divide your assets, there will be a trial, and the judge overseeing your case will decide who gets what assets.
How Do the Courts Decide How Marital Assets Are Divided?
If you and your spouse cannot decide how to divide your assets, a judge will decide for you based on 13 factors laid out in state law. Those factors are:
- The income and assets of you and your spouse at the time you got married, as well as when you filed for divorce
- How long you have been married, as well as your and your spouse’s age and health
- Whether or not you and your spouse have minor children, which spouse has custody of those children, and the need for the spouse with custody to use your marital home
- Any inheritance or pension you or your spouse might lose due to the divorce
- Any health insurance benefits you or your spouse may lose because of the divorce
- Whether or not one spouse will be required to pay alimony or child support to the other
- Whether one spouse contributed to marital property that the other spouse owns
- You and your spouse’s “liquid” assets (meaning assets that can quickly be sold or converted to cash) vs. your shared non-liquid assets
- The potential future earnings for you and your spouse
- How difficult is it to determine the value of certain shared assets, such as the value of a business
- The potential tax implications for each spouse, based on how your shared assets are divided
- If you or your spouse have used up or wasted any shared assets during the divorce process
- If you or your spouse transferred or sold any marital property for less than market value because either of you knew you were getting divorced
Shared Property vs. Separate Property
One thing to remember about dividing assets in a divorce is that only your shared assets must be divided equitably. Any separate property – meaning assets you owned prior to the marriage and kept separate from the property you shared with your spouse – goes back to you. If you are concerned about maintaining ownership of your individual property, make sure to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Our New York Asset Division Lawyers Can Help You Keep Your Fair Share of Marital Property
We know that disputes over shared assets in a divorce can quickly become heated and emotional, and we are here to provide objective advice and be your advocate throughout the divorce process. Call The Mandel Law Firm today at (646) 770-3868 or visit our contact page to speak with a New York divorce attorney.