When couples divorce through litigation, their assets will be subject to equitable distribution. While many people believe this means an equal distribution, this is rarely ever the case. Instead, equitable distribution is a fair and just division of a couple’s assets by the court. In these situations, spouses are often left unsatisfied with the outcome of their divorce. It is because of this that it is important to retain the services of an experienced New York divorce attorney to protect your assets.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
Throughout a marriage, couples usually have many different assets. In the event that they go through a divorce, these assets are categorized in two different ways. This includes marital property and separate property. A couple’s marital property includes any assets that were acquired throughout their marriage. This can include real estate, income, automobiles, certain retirement or pension accounts, and more.
Different from this, separate property includes assets that either spouse obtained before their marriage. This may be any gifts, inheritances, separate bank accounts, and more. Usually, the separate property goes untouched during a divorce. However, marital property is subject to equitable distribution.
What is Considered When Distributing Assets?
When the court is left to determine the outcome of a couple’s marital assets, they take several things under advisement about both spouse’s lives together and apart. This can include parts of the marriage, both parties’ personal lives, and their financial situations. Examples of this may be:
- Property value
- Yearly income
- The established financial standard of living in the marriage
- The terms of any existing child custody agreement
Can I Keep Certain Assets?
No one wants to lose things that they love and cherish, which is why the process of equitable distribution can be difficult for spouses. It is because of this that there are precautionary measures that spouses can take in order to protect certain assets that they do not want to lose. This may be through a prenuptial agreement that is drafted and signed before the marriage occurs. This document outlines which assets belong to which spouse in the event of divorce.
In the event that this is not created before a marriage, it is important to know that a similar document can be created to accomplish the same goals after the fact. This is known as a postnuptial agreement.
Contact our Firm
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.