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Asset Distribution


When dividing marital assets in New York, property gained during the marriage is usually subject to the doctrine of “equitable distribution”.  While some states simplify this issue with the concept of community property, New York looks to a much more detailed analysis.  When analyzing distribution of property under the doctrine of equitable distribution, the courts look to several different factors, including:


  • What are the tax consequences of the divorce to each spouse

  • Did either spouse lose a pension or an inheritance due to the divorce

  • What income and property did each spouse have at the time of the marriage

  • What income and property did each spouse have at the time of the divorce

  • The length of the marriage

  • The age and health of both spouses

  • Has either spouse squandered marital assets during the divorce proceedings

  • Has either spouse alienated marital property at less than market value with knowledge of the impending divorce

  • If the spouses have minor children, what is the need of the custodial parent with regard to the residence of the marriage and any household items

  • Did either spouse lose health insurance benefits due to the divorce

  • Other spousal contributions – such as support during the earning of a degree

  • What marital property is liquid and what is not 

  • The prospective future financial health of each party

  • Are there any assets that are not capable of valuation

  • Are there any assets, such as a business, which should be given to a particular spouse so that it can continue to generate revenue

  • Will the Court award spousal support or maintenance


One important question on the mind of most people contemplating divorce is: what are marital assets? Marital property can include:

  • Real property purchased during the marriage with your spouse. 

  • Personal property, such as a car, furniture or artwork that you purchased with your spouse during the marriage;

  • Liquid assets such as cash, securities, pensions, securities or stocks acquired during the marriage;

  • Advanced educational degrees or professional or trade licenses/permits that you acquired during the marriage. 

  • Gifts between spouses. 


New York’s equitable distribution laws are complicated and difficult for non-attorneys to navigate.  If you are or may be going through a divorce, and your are concerned about how property will be divided between you and your spouse, schedule an initial consult today, or call us today to speak to an attorney.  

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