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How can ny divorce lawyers can help with asset division

December 5, 2017

In most jurisdictions, divorce proceedings lead to the division of property between the spouses. This narrative is not any different in New York State. The process of asset division often results in spouses spiraling into heated exchanges. Such divorces are commonly known as contested divorces. In contested divorces, spouses fail to agree on the division of property between themselves, thereby occasioning the court’s intervention. On the other hand, some divorcing spouses agree on the division of property between themselves — such divorces are known as uncontested divorces. Uncontested divorces are often conducted speedily and tend to be cost-effective for both parties. An example of an uncontested divorce is where the spouses had signed a prenuptial agreementbeforehand. Prenuptial agreements are legally enforceable documents, ratified by both spouses that outline how asset division between them will be conducted, should their marriage fail.
Division of assets in New York State is based on the doctrine of equitable distribution of property. Equitable distribution denotes division based on what the court deems as fair, as opposed to equal sharing. Spouses seeking divorce in New York should seek representation from lawyers, in order to contest any unfair apportionment of an asset or liability in the proceedings. Courts put into consideration a spouse’s contribution (both financial and non-financial) to the acquisition of an asset before dividing it. Therefore, a spouse claiming a non-financial contribution to the procurement of an asset would receive a portion of the asset’s value upon divorce. Where some of the matrimonial property is indivisible, the court may compensate a spouse with another asset(s) of similar value.
Another reason why it is important for divorcing spouses in NY to seek legal representation is, to gain an understanding of the difference between matrimonial property and separate property. According to New York State law, matrimonial property connotes any assets accumulated by both spouses during the subsistence of their marriage. Matrimonial property includes but is not limited to: real and personal property, business income, stocks and insurance benefits. However, not all property acquired during a marriage is categorized as matrimonial property. If a prenuptial agreement expressly characterized property acquired during the marriage as separate property, the property is deemed so. An inheritance received by either spouse is also not categorized as matrimonial property. In contrast, separate property is any property held in possession by the spouses before their marriage. Separate property is not subject to division between spouses in a court of law, in the event of divorce.
It is also advisable for divorcing spouses in NY to seek legal counsel to understand all the factors considered by courts before the division of an asset. Factors such as length of the marriage, future needs and amount of income are put into consideration. Income is also reviewed by courts before any decisions in respect to spousal maintenance are made. Legal representation from NY’s divorce lawyers ensures that the rights and interests of the spouse(s) are protected and upheld throughout the proceedings.

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