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One important issue that is addressed during a divorce proceeding is the division of matrimonial property. Arguments and disagreements over the equitable distribution of property can easily turn the case into a contested divorce. It’s common for spouses who are getting divorced to have different opinions over the division of property, and things can go sour if both parties don’t get what they want.
This is a method to share property between two spouses during divorce. Initially, New York followed the common law property principle. In this property system assets were divided in court depending on the title of ownership. The named spouse in the title received the property. However, New York has now adopted the equitable distribution principle. This means that after a couple gets divorced marital property is divided equally and fairly. This doesn’t always mean an equal division of the assets, but a fair Outcome. The judge bases his or her division on who gets what by considering:
The court only divides matrimonial property, and each spouse has the right to retain their separate property. Marital property includes everything that both spouses have acquired when married. This is regardless of who holds the title, income of each spouse, and property purchased with that money during marriage, property purchased while married, for instance, a car or house, appreciation of their properties, and the retirement benefits that both spouses have earned during the marriage are all categorized as marital property.
The domestic relation laws in Section 236B are also referred to as Equitable Distribution Laws, and they clearly define marital and separate property. During a divorce, separate property isn’t divided except in a situation when one spouse has contributed to the development of the other partners’ property. Separate property comprises:
Professional practices, businesses, and other earning capacities that are attributed to the attainment of a professional license, career, and educational degree are also considered as property and are subject to a fair distribution between two spouses. However, in some cases the interests in a career or business can be difficult to divide, and sometimes it is undesirable to do that. In such a situation, the spouse who is running the business is awarded the family business or practice and the other spouse is awarded property to satisfy both parties.
Under the New York law, all property, money, and assets that are acquired during marriage are considered as marital property and should be divided equally. Equitable distribution means that because marriage is similar to a joint venture, both parties in the marriage have a right to claim assets and property acquired in the marriage in a fair and equitable manner. Therefore, before you proceed to file for a divorce it’s advisable that you consult a qualified NYC property division lawyer to protect your interests and rights during the division of marital property.