Equitable Distribution Property Divorce Attorney Nassau County, NY

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Suffolk County Matrimonial Lawyer   Suffolk County Family Lawyer

Equitable Distribution Attorneys

Suffolk & Nassau County, NY Matrimonial Law Firm

Equitable distribution is the process which is used by the courts when determining how to disperse property between spouses upon the termination of their marriage. In New York State, all property acquired and income earned during a marriage is subject to equitable distribution. When a marriage is dissolved, the courts must make decisions regarding the distribution of property. Courts are tasked with the decision on valuations of businesses and real estate property in determining how much money or value each party is entitled to. There are a number of factors that the court must consider before the property is divided. In general, however, the courts must determine whether property is marital property or separate property.

Marital Property vs Separate Property

Marital property consists of all property acquired during the marriage, regardless of who claims to own or to have purchased the property. Marital property is subject to division between the spouses. Examples of marital property may include real property, personal property, businesses, automobiles, savings accounts, securities, pension plans, and other items of value.

In contrast, separate property is not subject to division by the court. Generally, separate property consists of property acquired before marriage, property acquired as an inheritance, gifts from a non-spouse, property acquired in exchange for or the increase in value of separate property, and property considered separate according to a written agreement between the spouses. This property will stay with the spouse who acquired it and is not subject to division by the courts.

How Marital Property is Distributed

After the court identifies which property is marital property, a court will then consider several factors to determine the distribution of the marital property. These factors include:

  • The income of the spouses at the time of the marriage or at the time of the commencement of the divorce action
  • The duration of the marriage and the age and health of both spouses
  • The need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and/or household items
  • The loss of inheritance, pension rights, and/or health insurance benefits
  • An award of spousal maintenance
  • Any equitable claim, interest, or contribution the non-titled party made toward property by providing services as a spouse, parent, wage earner, or homemaker, as well as effects on the other spouse's career
  • The liquid or non-liquid character of the marital property
  • The probable future financial circumstances of each spouse; recently New York State law was amended so that many factors historically taken into account for future earning capacity of spouses, such as education level, are now not to be considered unless it is necessary in the interests of justice.
  • The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation, or profession, and the economic desirability of keeping such assets or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other spouse
  • The tax consequences to each spouse
  • The wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse
  • Any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration
  • Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and proper

Of course, the parties have the right to expressly determine how their property shall be divided if they are able to reach an agreement and set it down in writing. The experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco, P.C. have assisted numerous clients in aggressively asserting their rights and interests in marital property as well as separate property. Contact The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco, P.C. to develop a strategy that best protects your property interests.

Business and Professional Practice Valuations

When either spouse has an interest in a business or professional practice, it is essential that this asset is properly valued to ensure appropriate distribution of the assets between the parties. Though this process can be complicated, the involvement of an experienced business valuation lawyer can help move the situation forward.

While ascertaining the value of a business may seem like simply gathering paperwork on assets and liabilities, there can be much more to the situation. It is important to obtain the complete picture of the business through the perspective of a business valuation expert. These are professionals who have specific knowledge of what to look for when determining the value of a business, such as inventory, vendors, clients, customers and debts owed. We understand that both parties may have a vested interest in the asset, and as such, these matters can become highly contentious.

Once the value is determined, the Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco, P.C can help you understand what that means for you. In some cases, the business must be sold and the proceeds of the sale distributed between the two parties. In others, one party's interest in the business can be purchased by the other to ensure the business remains whole. Regardless of your goals for the business, the Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco, P.C. can proceed in a way that suits your needs.