Divorce means going separate ways physically, emotionally and financially. Therefore, you need to divide everything you acquired as a couple during the marriage, collectively known as marital property, when you divorce. Such property is divided equitably in New York.
It helps to understand how everything works during the property division phase of your divorce. It will help you protect your interests and ensure you do not lose out when all is said and done. Here is what you need to know.
You may not end up with equal portions
Equitable division is not strictly 50/50. Instead, it is based on what is fair and just. When dividing marital property, a family court judge will try to achieve fairness when allocating each spouse their share, based on several factors. They include:
- The income and property of each spouse during and after the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Any maintenance or spousal support awarded by the court
- The expected future financial circumstances of each party
- The tax consequences to each party
- The wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse
- The domestic requirements of the custodial parent, among others
The above factors, and others not listed here, will determine each spouse's share of the marital property. You may get more or less than your spouse, depending on the unique circumstances of your divorce.
What could go wrong?
Property division during a divorce is not always a smooth affair. For instance, cases of hidden or undeclared assets by a spouse to shortchange the other can happen in divorce. Therefore, it is advisable to seek legal guidance to protect your rights and seek a fair settlement.