New York now abides by the principle of equitable distribution when dividing the property of a divorcing couple. People sometimes misinterpret the word equitable to mean "equal," which is not always the case. Judges often decide that the fairest resolution is to give one spouse a greater portion of the shared assets, and they base their decisions upon a variety of factors, including:
- Age, health and marriage duration - If a partner cannot earn a living due to their age or health issues, they might receive more in a distribution. This can also apply to someone who stayed in the household for many years.
- Professional support - A spouse can be compensated if they worked or took care of the home and children while the other earned a professional degree or built a business.
- Fairness concerns - There might be instances where assets are not technically considered marital property, but a judge can include them if he believes that they were being hidden improperly or that they normally would be part of the shared assets.
- Marital home - If one party is to remain in the marital home, the other spouse might receive a larger share of other assets to offset having to find suitable housing.
Some separate assets, such as property owned prior to the wedding and inheritances left to one spouse, may not be included in the marital estate.
At the firm of Goldberg Sager & Associates, Attorneys at Law, our lawyers assist divorcing spouses with property division and other family law issues. To schedule a consultation with an experienced Brooklyn matrimonial attorney, call 347.497.3245 or contact us online.