Navigating a marital breakup can be just as hard financially as it is emotionally. This is the case no matter how long two people have been married or how many or few assets they have to split. Here is a look at how property division is handled during divorce in the state of New York and how individuals can protect themselves financially in the midst of it.

Legislation regarding the division of shared assets in a marriage is different among states. For example, in states known as community property states, divorcing couples’ assets are split down the middle. Meanwhile, in an equitable distribution state, marital assets do not have to be divided equally; in other words, one spouse may receive 70 percent of the marital assets, whereas the other spouse receives 30% of the assets based on various factors that the court considers. New York falls under the equitable distribution state umbrella.

A wise move when it comes to protecting one’s assets during divorce is to put together a prenuptial agreement before getting married or a postnuptial agreement after getting married. These agreements can explain how an individual would like to handle the splitting of various assets in the event that a divorce is inevitable in the future. It may also behoove those who are approaching marriage to keep their inheritances or other separate assets out of joint accounts.

However, in many cases, people in New York who decide to get divorced never created prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, or they ended up mixing their separate assets with joint assets. In these situations, all is not lost. They can still try to work out their property division-related matters outside of court in an effort to achieve the most personally favorable outcomes possible given the facts of their divorce cases.