What Does Equitable Distribution Mean for New York Divorces?

Property and asset distribution is a central element of divorce. The state of New York looks at a variety of factors to create an “equitable distribution” of marital property to ensure a fair result for both spouses. Understanding what constitutes marital assets in New York and what criteria a judge relies on to evaluate the division of your joint property can help you get a clearer picture of what you may expect during your legal proceedings.

Since each situation remains unique, working with an experienced divorce attorney is important for all aspects of the termination of your marriage, including the distribution of shared assets.

What Counts as Marital Property in the State of New York?

Under New York law, everything acquired during your marriage usually counts as marital property. Exceptions include specific stipulations in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, inheritance, or gifts received from a third party.

Marital property can include:

  • Commercial and/or residential real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Art and other collectibles
  • Pets
  • Ownership interests in businesses
  • Intellectual property

Retirement accounts and pensions acquired while married can also count as marital property and requires adequate division during the divorce. The judge also needs to distribute any debt accrued during your marriage.

How Does Equitable Distribution Work?

Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean even because a judge takes many factors into account when reviewing either a proposed agreement you and your spouse have reached outside of the courtroom or during litigation.

Criteria for equitable distribution of marital assets in New York include:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • Each spouse’s resources and earning capabilities
  • The value of each spouse’s separate property
  • The terms of a valid and enforceable prenuptial or postnuptial contract
  • Each spouse’s behavior during the marriage
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Child support and/or alimony arrangements
  • Tax impact of the marital assets’ distribution for each spouse

​Choose Arnel Law Firm to Represent You During Your Divorce in Brooklyn

Even in a straightforward and uncontested divorce, working with an attorney can help ensure you reach a fair agreement that protects your interests, and any children you share with your spouse. At Arnel Law Firm, we have extensive divorce and family law experience, and our team is committed to advocating for your rights and future even during a high-asset divorce.

Working with a lawyer can also help you if some of your individual assets have become commingled with your spouse’s, which means it has become difficult to identify what belongs to whom. Another situation in which an attorney plays a central role in protecting your interests is if you suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets, which could result in an unfair distribution of your marital property in their favor.

You can expect a thorough and honest assessment of your situation during your initial appointment. Our staff members are here to advocate for you throughout the divorce process. We value regular, clear, and open communication, and our lawyers work directly with our clients to maximize your chances of securing equitable distribution of your marital assets.

Call Arnel Law Firm today at (718) 550-3024 or use our online form to schedule a divorce consultation at our Brooklyn office.