You didn't think your marriage was perfect, but the last thing you expected was for your husband to ask for a divorce. Now that he has, you want to make sure you get everything you deserve of your marital assets and that you'll be financially stable after the divorce.
Divorce is rarely simple, and for couples with significant assets who live in a world-class city like New York, the process can seem like a disaster waiting to happen. This does not have to be the case, but without proper guidance, it very well could be.
Very little about divorce is simple, but the complexity of marital property distribution and spousal support can be overwhelming. In New York, if the parties involved in a divorce cannot agree on these issues, the state Supreme Court will order support from one spouse to another based on the circumstances of the case.
New York residents may be interested in learning about the treatment of inherited assets in marital property division. Property belonging to married spouses is considered to be either marital property or separate property. Separate property is defined by a few general rules. Property inherited or gifted by a third party to either partner, lawsuit settlements and property owned before the marriage or received after the date of separation is usually considered separate property. Property specifically reserved by a prenuptial agreement is also protected from becoming marital property.
Every lawyer knows nuances in agreements can become legal disagreements especially when money is at stake. A New York judge recently sided with a wife at a Manhattan divorce hearing over asset division in a prenuptial agreement. The husband argued the contract should be reinterpreted.
A soon-to-be ex-spouse often finds it difficult to admit that a once-loved partner is capable of deceit during divorce.
A surge of holiday engagements for happy couples in New York and elsewhere throughout the country is a common trend during the month of December. However, it was recently reported that 6 percent fewer American adults are married today than were married in 2000. A Pew Research Center report states 51 percent of adults are married compared to 57 percent just over a decade ago. Whether the numbers spell eventual doom for the institution of marriage or reflect a societal blip are subjects of speculation among societal observers.
The end of a marriage includes a distribution of shared property, but asset division also includes dividing debt between divorcing partners. The home a couple shared through marriage was once seen as a desirable asset during divorce. Since the collapse of the housing market, the asset has now turned into a burden for some.
Neglecting to update insurance and pension plan beneficiaries after life-altering events like divorce can have extreme effects. Experts say an "I'll get to it tomorrow" attitude can wreak havoc on estate asset division years after a divorce settlement.
Provisions within a divorce settlement divide marital assets, but some of those assets are not immediately realized at the time of divorce. Certain asset divisions take place over time. Retirement benefits from a former spouse, like pension and 401(k) plans, may not be realized for years.