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Navigating the Division of Matrimonial Assets in Long Island, NY

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Navigating the Division of Matrimonial Assets in Long Island, NY

Matrimonial Assets in divorce

We often hear of the division of marital assets in New York State as an “equitable distribution.” To some, this entails a 50-50 division. However, that is not often the case.

The intricacies surrounding this division of assets will make you wonder whether your assets and properties will be yours once the divorce is settled.

This blog will explore how the division of marital assets works in New York State and the differences in the process during contested and uncontested divorces.

What is the Division of Matrimonial Assets?

In simplest terms, the division of matrimonial assets refers to the equitable distribution of property, assets, and debts acquired during the course of a marriage. This process aims to ensure a fair and just allocation of assets between spouses upon divorce.

How Does it Work in NY State?

Matrimonial property division during divorce in Long Island, New York, typically follows the principles of equitable distribution.

Below are some of the critical aspects of the division process:

Identifying Marital Property

Marital property usually includes real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, businesses, and other assets acquired during the marriage. Separate property, such as assets owned before marriage or inherited individually, generally remains with the original owner unless it has been commingled with marital assets or used for the benefit of the marriage.

Equitable Distribution

New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Some instances within the marriage can affect how the equitable distribution works.

If you bought the house before marriage and want to claim it as a separate property, you must prove your individual contribution towards its purchase. Gather bank statements or other evidence showing your separate property funded part of the down payment. Without proof of your personal contributions, you won’t receive credit for separate property

Marital property also includes debts acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title or account.

Valuation of Assets

The value of marital assets is determined at the time of divorce. This may require appraisals for real estate, businesses, and other valuable assets.

Division Process

Courts will consider various factors to determine a fair division of marital property, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and earning potential, contributions to the marriage (financial and non-financial), the age and health of each spouse, and any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.

Spousal Maintenance

In addition to property division, one spouse may be entitled to spousal maintenance (alimony) based on factors such as income disparity, the standard of living during the marriage, and each spouse’s needs.

Settlement vs. Litigation

Couples can negotiate a settlement agreement regarding property division outside of court through mediation or collaborative divorce. If they cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide on property division and other relevant issues during divorce proceedings.

Difference in Division of Matrimonial Assets for Contested and Uncontested Divorce

In uncontested divorces, spouses mutually agree on the terms of asset division, often through negotiation or mediation. This can streamline the process, as both parties work together to reach a fair settlement off-court.

However, it’s still advisable for each spouse to seek the help of a divorce attorney in Long Island to ensure the protection of their rights and that the agreement is legally binding.

On the other hand, contested divorces involve disputes over asset division, requiring intervention from the court to make a final decision.

Each spouse presents their arguments and evidence and the court then determines the equitable distribution based on the evidence presented and applicable laws.

Seek Legal Counsel with The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C.

For personalized legal guidance on divorce and the division of marital assets in Long Island, NY, don’t hesitate to consult The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. We specialize in navigating the complexities of matrimonial law, offering compassionate support and strategic representation suited to your unique circumstances.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing your future with confidence.