Tips for Getting Your Assets Distributed Equally and Equitably
Divorce is difficult. In addition to the emotional ties that are broken during the process of marriage dissolution, there is also the matter of property (real and personal) that must be determined by the separating parties. In some states, there is community property, which requires all assets to be equally distributed.
In New York, our divorce laws are governed by equitable distribution, which takes may factors into consideration before distributing the assets. Some of these factors include the ages and relative health of the parties, the length of the marriage, the presence of underage children, and future inheritance rights. It may be the case that the spouse who did not work during the marriage takes more wealth away from the relationship in the end. Equitable distribution, then, works so that both parties are as financially stable as possible.
Garden City NY family lawyers such as those at Fass & Greenberg know about equitable distribution. They can help you navigate the process so that your divorce is not as chaotic as it would be without their help. Call them to schedule an appointment for a consultation after you get familiar with the following tips about how assets can be distributed equally in cases of equitable distribution.
1. Understand that equitable distribution only extends to marital property
Marital property is defined as property accumulated by either spouse from the date of marriage to the commencement of an action for divorce. However, there are exceptions. For example, property gifted to a spouse from a third party, or monies awarded to a spouse as a result of a personal injury lawsuit are considered separate and not subject to equitable distribution. Assets acquired before marriage are also not eligible for equitable distribution. A good family law firm in Garden City can help you determine what assets would need to be surrendered for equitable distribution.
2. Understand how marital property is valued
The home that you purchased together ten years ago is likely worth more than you paid for it back then. If a couple decides to their home, there is no need to obtain an appraisal. If, however, a couple decides to “trade off” a pension for a house, there are experts in each field which must be retained to determine the value of each asset. so as to avoid the idea of one party getting more of his or her share of the wealth. It is best, of course, to receive legal counsel from a family law firm in Garden City such as that of Fass & Greenberg before taking such drastic actions.
3. Be honest about your financial situation
Both parties are required to make financial declarations in equitable distribution. The document required to be exchanged between the parties is called a Statement of Net Worth. Such declarations serve as the basis for determining the manner by which assets are divided, and the Courts can impose severe penalties upon a party who is not truthful in this sworn document. It is essential that you are completely honest with your attorney in preparing and executing this document.