Divorce is easiest when spouses are able to put aside their emotions and work together to negotiate the terms of their divorce.
When it comes to dividing property, spouses can choose whatever method is most fair for them, but as a general guideline, New York courts use the following elements to divide property equitably between the parties:
- Is property marital property, or separate property? Marital property is any property acquired during the marriage, with some exceptions. Inheritance, gifts, and other individual property is usually considered separate property, not marital. The court divides only marital property, leaving property you brought into the marriage yours.
- Type of property. This includes “real” property like houses, vehicles, and jewelry, as well as “intangible” items like debts, income, and benefits. The court will determine whether these types of property are separate or marital, then divide marital property “equitably.”
- Equitable distribution. New York courts weigh various factors in determining an equitable distribution of property. Some of these factors are how long the marriage lasted, how old each spouse is, potential future earnings, and the health status of each spouse.
Division of property is as critical to your future as it is exhausting to negotiate with your spouse.
If you’re dividing property in a divorce, whether it’s contested or not, call the Brooklyn divorce specialists at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino for a free consultation today at 718-725-9601.