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Asset & Property Division in Suffolk & Nassau Counties
No divorce will be complete without dividing assets and property that do not belong as separate property. If you are coming to this difficult part of the overall divorce process, turn to Hedayati Law Group, P.C. for legal assistance from a team of attorneys you know you can trust. We bring 150+ years of collective legal experience to each case we handle and our past clients rave about our skills, ethics, compassion, and intent on keeping their best interests in focus.
Equitable Division of Property in New York
New York is one of many states in the country that uses equitable division or distribution rules. The concept of equitable distribution is that both spouses in a divorce will get pieces of marital property based on what is fair, not on what is equal. Determining “fairness” is completed by the overseeing family law court, which will review how each spouse contributed to the marriage and what each spouse requires to live comfortably after divorce.
Assets that can be divided by equitable division include:
- Real estate property
- Savings accounts
- Business ownership
Since most high-ticket items cannot actually be physically divided, they require an appraisal to get an understanding of their dollar value. This value is what will be considered when deciding how to distribute items.
Separate Property to Marital Property
Anything that you own before you become married is considered separate property, or something that does not get divided by equitable distribution. You can also acquire separate property while married, such as special gifts or inheritances. Keep detailed records of any separate property if you want to hold onto it as your divorce progresses.
On the other hand, separate property can turn into marital property under certain conditions. If your ex-spouse contributed heavily to the value of a piece of separate property, it will likely become marital property subject to distribution. For example, a stay-at-home spouse may have a claim to the home for maintaining it for years, even if that real estate belonged only to their spouse before they married.
Other factors that could influence a property’s status include:
- Duration of marriage
- Age of both spouses
- Possibility of gaining income
- Foreseeable future hardships
Though you may want to stay in the home for many reasons, it is best not to cohabitate with your ex. Unless your marital home is so large you won’t even notice your ex’s presence, living in the same home may be detrimental to the entire divorce process.
In order to determine who gets to stay and who must leave may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to:
- Whether you share children
- The earning income of either party
- If either one of your owned the home before the marriage
The best way to protect yourselves is to sign a written agreement that states the grounds of either one of you moving out. This way, you cannot be faulted with desertion, and you will also be prepared to take all of your belongings with you. If you and your future ex-spouse can agree on this major decision, it is likely to set a quite positive tone for the rest of your divorce proceedings.
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