New York Divorce Law — Division of Property
In the state of New York, property subject to divorce proceedings is divided in accordance with the rule of “equitable distribution.” There are two common misconceptions about the application of equitable distribution:
- First, many people assume that equitable distribution always leads to a 50/50 split of the marital estate. This is not true. Equitable means fair, not equal. In cases where one spouse has significantly more income or assets than the other spouse, a court could seek an unequal division of assets or debts at the time of a divorce or may grant an award of spousal maintenance (alimony).
- Second, many people do not take into account the distinction between marital property and separate property assets. While marital property is subject to equitable distribution, separate property is not. Marital assets (sometimes called marital property) include any property acquired during the marriage. Debts acquired during the marriage are also a part of the marital property picture. Separate property includes property owned prior to a marriage, inheritances, personal injury settlements and certain gifts received by one spouse during a marriage that retained its separate property nature during the marriage.
If you are getting a divorce and are concerned about asset protection and marital debts, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Brooke, Brady & Schopfer, LLP. We practice exclusively in divorce and family law and have been helping clients for more than 30 years. We focus our practice in Dutchess County, so have a high degree of familiarity with the rules, procedures and practices in local courts.
Contact Our Poughkeepsie Lawyers Today
If you want to know more about property division and your legal rights, contact Brooke, Brady & Schopfer, LLP, in Poughkeepsie, New York. To schedule a free initial appointment with a Poughkeepsie lawyer, call 845-454-2540 or contact us by e-mail.