Serving Garden City, Long Island, and Queens, New York
In recent years, the courts have begun to view marriage as an economic partnership. This has led many states to adopt the philosophy of “Equitable Distribution” when deciding how to split up marital property in the event of a divorce. New York is one of the many states that now adhere to this philosophy and legal principle.
The doctrine of Equitable Distribution will have a significant impact on how the court will rule on property division disputes during your divorce. Les Martin has 45 years of experience handling these complex issues, and he can guide you through the process to ensure you receive the assets to which you’re entitled.
The best way to learn about your rights when facing a property division dispute is to speak with Mr. Martin in person. Please call 516-222-0900 today to schedule a consultation at our Garden City law office.
What is Equitable Distribution?
Under Equitable Distribution, there are two different types of property as defined by statute:
- Marital property
- Separate property
If property or assets were acquired over the course of the marriage, they are considered marital property, even if only one spouse holds the title. Exceptions to this rule are:
- Personal injury awards
Property and assets acquired before the marriage are considered separate property as long as they are not co-mingled with marital property during the course of the marriage.
Equitable Distribution states that separate property will remain the property and possession of the spouse who owned it prior to the marriage, while marital property will be divided between both spouses, regardless of who holds the title.
Equitable Distribution Does Not Mean Equal Distribution
Equitable Distribution does not necessarily mean that property will be divided equally between both spouses. In certain situations, particularly when a business is involved, assets will be divided based on the contributions of each spouse.
For example, if a business was started during the marriage but was worked only by one spouse, the value of the business will often not be split equally. The court will generally look at the other spouse’s contributions to the marriage (such as parent and homemaker) and determine a fair percentage of the business to be awarded based on these other contributions. Often, that percentage will be less than half.
In general, the following marital assets will be distributed equally:
- Bank accounts
- Other forms of savings and investments
Couples with an unequal accumulation of assets prior to their marriage may want to consider a prenuptial agreement to ensure that property is fairly divided in the event of a divorce.
An Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Les Martin has been helping clients resolve property division disputes for 45 years. He has a strong understanding of New York’s Equitable Distribution laws and can predict the division of your assets fairly accurately. By conducting an analysis of your assets prior to the commencement of your divorce action to determine the distribution value mandated by law, Mr. Martin can help guide you to a more amicable resolution of your dispute, saving you a great deal of time, money and aggravation typically caused by protracted litigation.
Please contact Les Martin, Attorney at Law today to schedule your property division consultation. Mr. Martin serves clients in Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens Counties, and all of New York City.