The equitable distribution of marital property following a divorce can be a stressful time. This is especially true if you did not draft a pre or postnuptial agreement. Equitable distribution of marital property can often be very unpredictable, and present many difficult situations, which mandates expert legal representation. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to best safeguard your interests when property and assets are being divided.
What is Equitable Distribution?
Equitable is not synonymous with equal; courts must consider the totality of the circumstances and the realities of the marriage. Most states employ “equitable distribution” in dividing marital (community) property as a result of the dissolution of marriage (divorce). Instead of a strict 50/50 split in which each spouse receives exactly one-half of the marital or separate property, equitable distribution looks at the financial situation that each spouse will be in after the termination of the marriage. While it is more flexible, it is harder to predict the actual outcome, since the various factors are subjectively weighed. Factors considered include:
- Earning power of the spouses (one might be much greater than the other)
- Separate property of the spouses (one might be greater in value than the other)
- One spouse having done all the work to acquire the property
- The value that one spouse contributed as the home-maker for the family
- Economic fault of one spouse in wasting and dissipating marital property
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and relative health of the spouses
- The responsibility for providing for children of the marriage
- Spousal abuse or marital infidelity (to penalize the offending spouse).
These are just some common examples that are often considered. Part of protecting yourself and your assets in the result of dissolution of marriage is by educating yourself on the possible outcomes that divorce provides. Marriage is a legally binding event, and needs to be seen as such. To get a more in depth look at equitable distribution review our article regarding equitable distribution in our Resource Center.
The division of property can be a complicated process. A process that can evoke much emotion for you have worked hard to get what you have, and you most likely have sentimental attachments to positions such as furniture, art, and property. Since this time is so critical so too should your choice in legal representation. At Westchester Matrimonial Law our attorneys have been instrumental in the litigation or settlement proceedings of thousands of matrimonial and family court issues and are uniquely qualified to handle legal matters concerning equitable distribution. This exclusive devotion to Matrimonial and Family Law is what sets us apart from other law firms.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us and get the expert advice you deserve. We provide a telephone consultation, and if you retain our services you can rest assured that any legal issue you may have will be met with the severity it deserves.