If you and your spouse are undergoing divorce proceedings in New York State, you may be wondering if and how equitable distribution law will play into your division of assets settlement agreement. Continue reading to learn whether New York is considered an equitable distribution state and how one of the experienced New York City division of assets attorneys at Zimmet Law Group, P.C., can represent you throughout these deliberations.
Is New York considered an equitable distribution state?
Put simply, an equitable distribution state is one that has separate property distributed to its respective owners and has marital property distributed fairly and justly between the two spouses in a divorce. And with that being said, New York is one of the 40 states that is considered an equitable distribution state.
Assets that were acquired before a marriage or after a separation date are considered separate property. Meanwhile, assets that were acquired in the midst of a marriage are considered marital property. Examples of the two are as follows:
- Separate property:
- The gifts that an individual spouse received.
- The inheritances that an individual spouse received.
- The award an individual spouse received from a lawsuit.
- Marital property:
- The wages that both you and your spouse earned.
- The personal assets that both you and your spouse purchased with your earned wages (i.e., house, cars, furniture).
- The accounts that both you and your spouse set up (i.e., bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions).
- The gifts that both you and your spouse exchanged with one another (i.e., artwork, jewelry, memorabilia).
How do equitable distribution states differ from commercial property states?
Outside New York, there are nine states that are considered commercial property states (i.e., Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin). These states will take a similar approach when it comes to dividing up separate property in a divorce. However, they do not divide up marital property in a way that is “fair and just.” Instead, they will do an equal 50/50 split.
How will my assets be divided in New York State?
If you and your spouse are getting a divorce in New York State, then the family court will refer to equitable distribution law and use their best judgment to determine how to divide your assets daily and justly. However, you and your spouse may be able to override this law if any of the following circumstances apply:
- You and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement that states how assets should be divided in the event of a divorce.
- You and your spouse have a postnuptial agreement that states how assets should be divided in the event of a divorce.
- You and your spouse have negotiated and established an asset division settlement agreement outside of the courtroom.
For more information on this, contact one of the skilled Manhattan divorce attorneys today.