Distribution of Assets Attorneys in Long Island NY

Distribution of Assets & Debts

Outside of child custody, there are few things in a divorce that cause more confusion, turmoil, and aggression like the distribution of assets. What many couples fail to recognize is how intermingled a court actually views their estate – and in the course of the proceedings couples become increasingly agitated at the amounts being awarded, in either direction. This is why it is critical to speak with a qualified family law attorney as soon as possible to avoid the unforeseen headaches that can accompany divisions of assets and debts.

Equitable distribution should not be confused with equal share.

For over two decades, The Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC has assisted Long Island couples struggling with divorce proceedings to find the solutions they're looking for. Our approach is methodical, detailed, and aggressive; as your attorney we will not back down from a fight and will use every resource at our disposal to ensure your interests are met to your exact specification.

Contact us today via the online form on this page or by calling (516) 227-5353.

How is Property Divided in New York?

When it comes to splitting up property in New York, couples are faced with but two situations – separate and marital. As you can imagine, the difference is significant. Marital property is essentially, any assets, money, or property that was acquired during the course of the marriage. It is important to keep in mind that this means almost EVERYTHING obtained during the course of the marriage. From investment returns to the extension you placed on a previously owned vacation home….all of it goes into the marital pool.

So what does 'separate' cover? While it seems to be limited and often will be restricted depending on a judge's ruling, there are a number of exceptions with separate property that include:

  • Property owned or bought prior to the marriage
  • Property that was inherited
  • Gifts given to one spouse by anyone else other than their partner
  • If a pre-established separate property is exchanged for another piece of property
  • Any other piece of property that the couple agrees should remain separated

Another important note to consider: these rules are not necessarily forced upon a couple when they enter into a divorce. Provided they can come to a mutually agreeable division beforehand, otherwise known as an uncontested divorce, anything and everything can be split into either the separate or marital category. It is entirely up to the couple in question. However, failing to find a middle ground which works for both parties will often result in the court making a final ruling. This is known as equitable distribution.

What Does Equitable Distribution Mean?

Equitable distribution should not be confused with equal share. Simply splitting everything a couple owns or has earned while married, straight down the middle, is hardly considered fair. What if one spouse was the driving force behind most of the earnings in the family? Or another spouse was the cause of most of the financial losses they both experienced? It is up to the courts to divide assets in the most "equitable" way possible, taking some of following facts into consideration:

  • The economic status of both spouses, their current income, and potential earning power
  • The overall value of each spouse's separate property – houses, 401k plans, etc
  • How much did each spouse contribute to the marital property?
  • How much did one spouse sponsor the other in regard to education and earning power?
  • Debts and liabilities of both parties
  • The current health and well-being of both parties
  • The liquidity of marital property
  • Any pre-established premarital and prenuptial agreements

Full Disclosure in New York

No matter how a couple came to the point of their divorce, both parties are required to enter into the proceedings with as much good faith and forthright intentions as possible. This includes giving a full disclosure of all assets within each other's possession. Should your spouse choose to hide some of his or her properly, you will need firm legal representation to discover what has been hidden and have it properly valued.

The Long Island divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC, regularly value assets such as real assets, savings, long term investments, and overseas assets. We will use every discovery method at our disposal to get a full picture of what you are owed – and fight to ensure that nothing is disregarded. If you have any questions concerning distribution of assets in an upcoming or current divorce, don't hesitate to contact our office at (516) 227-5353.

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