There’s no sugar coating it: divorce is often complex and almost always painful. You and your ex are likely harboring ill feelings toward one another, but you’ve still got to hash out issues of child support, custody and property division. Things can get contentious quickly, and that’s why a divorce attorney can be an invaluable asset. Your attorney has been through the process before and will know how to prepare you. He or she will also fight for you to ensure your interests are represented. 

In order to fight your case more effectively, your attorney will need to know a number of key details about your property, income and assets. With that in mind, here is a quick primer to save you time and money in your divorce; having this information will help the two of you work together more effectively:

  • Amount of equity in your home.
  • Additional properties you own.
  • Vehicles in your name, including passenger cars, motorcycles and recreational vehicles.
  • All of your savings accounts.
  • Any stocks, funds or bonds you hold.
  • All of the debts you currently owe.
  • Other valuable property you’d like to keep.

You’ll also want to have several documents at the ready to show your attorney:

  • Proof of income.
  • Proof of your spouse’s income.
  • Bank account statements.
  • Retirement accounts.
  • Credit card statements.
  • Property appraisals.
  • Wills, powers of attorney and health care directives.

Of course, this is just a basic list. If you don’t have all of this information prepared, don’t worry. Throughout the process, you and your attorney will work together to gather the appropriate documentation to work toward the outcome you want.

Which is why, in community property states, spouses are granted property when the title is in their name, regardless of who contributed to the couple’s ownership of the property. So, how does a New York judge determine what is an equitable division of your marital property?

They do so by looking at a number of factors, including:

  • The health and age of each partner in the marriage.
  • The property and income of each spouse at the time of marriage and at the time they filed for divorce.
  • Whether any spouse has been ordered to pay alimony.
  • The custodial parent’s domestic requirements.
  • Anticipatory monetary needs of each spouse.

If you are going through a divorce and want to gain a better understanding of how your assets will be divided by the courts, you may find answers to your questions and find your concerns can be assuaged by a divorce attorney well-versed in New York state laws for the division of equitable property. Every divorce case is unique and you need an attorney willing to listen to your wants as well as your needs and assist you throughout the divorce proceedings.