When it comes to dividing assets during a divorce, many individuals may have an idea of which pieces of property they would like to keep. However, the asset division laws will affect which property is eligible for division and how it will be divided. Because New York is an equitable division state, marital property is considered owned by both parties and will be fairly, but not necessarily equally, divided.
During the equitable division of assets, the property will be split in the most fair manner possible. As a result, each individual may not necessarily receive a perfectly equal portion. This division can depend on many different factors and not just monetary value. Therefore, the division process could potentially become complicated as individuals work toward maintaining ownership of certain assets, especially if disagreements occur.
It is important to remember that separate property is not subject to such division. This type of property will remain owned by the original owner. Separate assets are property that was owned by an individual before a marriage took place and/or obtained after a separation occurred. If an individual received inheritances, gifts or certain property that was deemed separate in a prenuptial agreement, those assets are also not subject to equitable division.
Because asset division may take some negotiation, many New York residents may wish to prepare as best they can for the proceedings. By determining the values of assets and gaining an understanding of the factors could be considered during division, individuals may be able to create plans in order to work toward their desired results. Discussing concerns with an experienced attorney may also be beneficial to interested parties.
Source: Forbes, "50 Ways To End Your Marriage: Divorce Laws Vary Widely From State To State", Jeff Landers, May 24, 2016