Kingston Property Division Lawyers Serving the Hudson Valley
Dividing property acquired during a marriage can be a difficult task for divorcing spouses. Sometimes, both spouses feel entitled to the same assets. Other times, disputes arise if one spouse feels he or she isn’t receiving a fair share of the property based on his or her contributions to the marriage. If you are concerned about property division as an aspect of your divorce, it’s important to be familiar with New York law regarding equitable distribution of marital property.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
New York follows a system of equitable distribution for dividing property acquired during a marriage. The first step to equitable distribution is categorizing all assets and debts as separate or marital property. Separate property generally consists of property owned before the marriage, property acquired by inheritance or gift, and personal injury payments. Marital property is everything, other than separate property, acquired during the marriage.
Once the property is categorized, the court will then divide your marital property based on the following factors:
- The income of the parties at the time of the marriage or at the time of the commencement of the divorce action
- The duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties
- The need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and/or household items
- The loss of inheritance, pension rights, and/or health insurance benefits
- An award of spousal support
- Any equitable claim, interest, or contribution the non-titled party made toward property by providing services as a spouse, parent, wage earner, or homemaker, as well as effects on the other spouse’s career
- The liquid or non-liquid character of the marital property
- The probable future financial circumstances of each party
- The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation, or profession, and the economic desirability of retaining such asset or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party
- The tax consequences to each party
- The wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse
- Any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration
- Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and proper
Keep in mind that equitable does not mean equal. In many cases, one spouse will end up with more of the couple’s physical property because the other spouse is allowed to keep assets that are less tangible, such as business interests.
Contact Us for Help with Property Division in New York
If you have questions about dividing your property upon divorce, please contact Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP to schedule a consultation. With offices in Kingston and Marlboro, New York, we represent clients throughout Ulster County.