Frequently Asked Questions About Property Division In New York
For most people beginning the process of divorce, division of assets is one of the most pressing concerns.
Since 1984, clients throughout the areas of Buffalo, Niagara Falls and all of Western New York have trusted the legal services of Venzon Law Firm PC to give them the answers they need to protect their financial interests.
Especially in gray divorces and divorces involving executives, athletes and other wealthy couples, it is important to know your rights and protect your interests. At Venzon Law Firm PC, we can help.
How is asset division determined?
In most divorce and separation cases, asset division can be determined through simple settlement negotiations. However, successful settlement negotiations require cooperative, good faith efforts from both parties, which do not always occur.
Complex asset division for professionals, executives and athletes requires a much more sophisticated level of legal service that should only be entrusted only to a lawyer with significant experience.
We have decades of experience with simple and complex asset division matters. We can get your case settled or fight for you in the courtroom. Our attorneys will protect your financial rights.
Does each party get half of everything?
Possible, however, New York is an equitable division state. This means that the court does not automatically divide property equally, but rather equitably (or fairly). The court will take a number of factors into consideration to make this determination in an effort to allow both parties to maintain a standard of living as close as possible to the standards they enjoyed during the marriage.
So, although it’s technically possible for the assets to be divided equally, it is highly possible that the division may be something else.
Can one of the spouses keep any assets from being divided in a divorce?
There are generally two types of assets: marital property and separate property. Marital property refers to the assets shared by the spouses. Separate property is just that: separate. Separate property can include assets owned before the marriage, inheritances received during the marriage and a few other types of property. The rest is considered marital property.
The only property that can be shielded from asset division in a divorce or separation is separate property.
What if one of the parties is intentionally wasting money to keep the other party from getting as much?
There are legal actions a spouse can take if the other spouse in a divorce is intentionally burning up assets. In many cases, the court will offset the final asset distribution to make up for the wasteful expenditure. For example, if one spouse wasted money gambling, the court may reduce that spouse’s share of the assets by the amount wasted.
What about retirement plans and investment dividends?
Retirement plans and investments can be among the most complicated assets in a divorce. When one party had a 401(k) or similar asset before the marriage, the principal and interest accrued before the marriage would be separate, while the principal and interest accrued during the marriage will be marital property. The challenge comes in determining what portion of the assets accrued from such a plan is marital and what portion is separate.
At Venzon Law Firm PC, we have the knowledge and expertise to handle even the most complicated asset distribution issues. Our lawyers will fight to protect your interests in divorce or separation.