Equitable Distribution

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    Manhattan Equitable Distribution Lawyer

    Property & Asset Division for Divorce in Manhattan

    When going through a divorce in Manhattan, it is essential to address the division of assets and property that are not considered separate property. If you find yourself in this challenging phase of the divorce process, you can rely on the Hedayati Law Group, P.C. Our team of trusted attorneys has over 150 years of combined legal experience. We are known for our skills, ethics, compassion, and dedication to protecting the best interests of our clients.

    To learn more about property division in Manhattan, contact us online or call (631) 880-6440.

    Equitable Division of Property in Manhattan

    New York follows the principle of equitable distribution for dividing marital property. Equitable distribution means that both spouses receive a fair share of the marital property, rather than an equal split. The family law court overseeing the divorce evaluates each spouse's contributions to the marriage and their respective needs post-divorce to determine what is fair.

    The types of assets subject to equitable division include:

    • Real estate properties
    • Savings accounts
    • Automobiles
    • Business ownership

    Since many high-value assets cannot be physically divided, they require a professional appraisal to determine their monetary value. This value serves as the basis for the distribution.

    Separate Property vs. Marital Property

    Anything owned prior to marriage is considered separate property and is not subject to equitable distribution. Separate property can also be acquired during marriage through special gifts or inheritances. It is crucial to keep detailed records of any separate property to safeguard it during the divorce process.

    However, separate property can potentially become marital property under specific circumstances. If your ex-spouse significantly contributed to the value of a separate property, it may be considered marital property and subject to distribution. For instance, a stay-at-home spouse who maintained a home for several years may have a claim to that property, even if it belonged solely to the other spouse before the marriage.

    How Does the Court Determine What Is Equitable?

    When determining what is equitable in the context of equitable distribution, the court considers various factors to arrive at a fair division of assets and property.

    • Marital Contributions: The court examines each spouse's contributions to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of marital property. This includes financial contributions, such as income and financial investments, as well as non-financial contributions, such as homemaking or child-rearing.

    • Duration of the Marriage: The length of the marriage is often a relevant factor. Longer marriages tend to involve more intertwined financial interests and may result in a more equal division of assets.

    • Financial Circumstances: The court assesses the current and future financial circumstances of each spouse. This includes factors like income, employability, earning potential, and financial needs. The goal is to ensure that both parties can maintain a reasonable standard of living post-divorce.

    • Individual Assets and Liabilities: The court considers each spouse's separate assets and liabilities, acquired before the marriage or through gifts or inheritances. These separate properties may be excluded from the equitable distribution process.

    • Age and Health of the Parties: The age and health of each spouse may impact their ability to earn income or accumulate assets. These factors can be taken into account when determining a fair distribution.

    • Custody and Child Support: If there are children involved, the court may consider custody arrangements and child support obligations. The primary caregiver may be granted a more favorable distribution to provide stability and support for the children.

    • Tax Consequences: The court may take into account the tax implications of certain distribution arrangements. For example, it may consider the potential capital gains taxes that could arise from selling certain assets.

    • Any Other Relevant Factors: The court has the discretion to consider additional factors that may be relevant to the particular case. These can include factors such as wasteful dissipation of assets, marital misconduct, or any other circumstances that may affect the equitable distribution outcome.

    Moving out of the Marital Home Before Divorce

    While you may have reasons to stay in the marital home, it is generally advisable to avoid cohabitation with your ex-spouse during the divorce process. Unless the home is large enough for both parties to live separately without interference, living together can complicate matters.

    Determining who gets to stay and who must leave depends on various factors, including:

    • Child custody arrangements
    • Income of each party
    • Pre-marital ownership of the home

    To protect yourself, it is recommended to sign a written agreement that clarifies the decision for one party to move out. This agreement helps prevent accusations of desertion and ensures that you can take your belongings with you. Coming to an agreement on this significant issue can set a positive tone for the remainder of the divorce proceedings.

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    Contact Our Firm

    Let us be your confidant when you have no one else to turn to. Call our offices today at 631-880-6440 to schedule a free consultation with a divorce attorney in Long Island. We offer same-day consultations.

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