Couples in New York often acquire various property and assets during the marriage. There are a number of factors that contribute to the amount that the couple has together during the marriage, but generally, the longer the marriage, the more assets they will have together. However, it does not matter how much marital property the couple has together; if they end up going through a divorce, they will need to divide their marital property.
The marital property needs to be divided equitably during a divorce. This could certainly mean that the property will be divided equally, but it does not need to be an equal split. What an equitable division is for a particular couple depends on the circumstances of their marriage and courts will analyze a number of factors to determine what is equitable.
Factors judges analyze to determine an equitable division
Under New York state laws, the factors that judges will analyze are:
- The income and property owned by each spouse at the time of the marriage and at the time the divorce starts
- The health of each spouse and the length of their marriage
- A spouse’s loss of the right to the other’s pension or inheritance
- Loss of health insurance benefits after the divorce
- Whether the custodial parent needs to keep the home to continue raising children in it
- If a spouse is receiving maintenance
- The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition of the property
- The tax consequences to each spouse receiving the property
- Whether property is liquid or not
- Whether either spouse dissipated assets or sold property for less than fair market value right before the divorce started
- Whether there was domestic violence during the marriage
Splitting up a shared life during divorces in New York is not an easy process. Each marriage is unique and how couples shared their finances and property differs. Therefore, what may be equitable in one divorce will not be equitable in another. Experienced attorneys understand how property is divided in divorce and may be able to guide one through the process.