Going through a divorce is often a complex and trying process. It involves a great deal of patience to separate two lives that were brought together over a period of time. Throughout this process, the couple’s assets are divided between them. While many people believe that their assets are divided equally during their divorce, this is not always true. Instead, a contested divorce usually results in “equitable distribution.” Equitable distribution means that the couple’s assets are divided in a way that is fair and just for both spouses. It is important to contact an experienced attorney for guidance during this time to ensure your best interests are represented.
Divison of Property
When couples go to court to divide their assets, they give up their right to do so themselves. They then give a judge the right to divide their assets based upon what is considered marital property and what is separate property. Assets that were acquired during the marriage or converted into both spouses’ property throughout the marriage is considered marital property. Other assets that were acquired before the marriage and agreed to stay their own are known as separate property.
How do courts divide assets in a divorce?
In most divorce cases, marital property can be equitably distributed. Alternatively, separate property is not usually subject to equitable distribution. This is because they are deemed both spouses’ own properties. When determining which assets belong to whom, the judge may also consider other outside factors relating to each spouses’ finances. This can include their ages, earnings, debts, liabilities, tax consequences, economic status, and more.
How can I protect my assets from a divorce?
It is important to know that there are ways for a person to protect their assets. One of the most common ways that spouses ensure the safety of their assets is a prenuptial agreement. This exists to outline the future of each spouses’ assets in the event that they decide to divorce in the future. This must be drafted and signed before the marriage takes place. In addition to this, spouses who may run a business together can draft a shareholder agreement to establish their interests in the business if they need to divide it during a divorce. If a couple does not create a prenuptial agreement before they are married, this is not their last chance to protect their assets. In fact, they can draft a postnuptial agreement that has similar functions to a prenuptial agreement. The difference is that it is created after they are already married.
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Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys guiding clients through matters of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant law. If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.