Property Division

Contrary to popular belief, property is not split in half upon divorce. New York utilizes a set of rules and regulations, collectively called "the equitable distribution system". The aim of the courts is not to achieve equal division, but to achieve the fair distribution of marital assets. Needless to say, much depends on your attorney, who will argue to the court or during negotiations that you are entitled to certain property under equitable distribution.

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution is an umbrella term for New York's system of rules and regulations, with their corresponding case law. The principles of equitable distribution can be quite complex, consisting of 11 basic factors, such as spousal fault, contribution to the marriage, etc. The question which factors are more important then others is often not set by the law, making it the job of a lawyer for each side to argue that the factors which favor the attorney's client are more important then the factors that do not.

The amount of property a spouse gets is sometimes offsetby the amount of spousal maintenance determined by the court. More maintenance may mean a lesser share of equitable distribution.

The court places great importance on whether the property is marital (acquired during marriage) or separate (not acquired during marriage). But although this question is important, it's not a deciding factor - both marital and separate property may be subject to equitable distribution. The possibility of getting some of the other spouse's separate property, or loosing your own separate property has far-reaching consequences - it makes divorce a risky process. This is why the importance of engaging a attorney in a case that case separate property issues cannot be overemphasized.

The House

Those who own a house or an apartment are rightly concerned over how it will be distributed. After all, a house or an apartment is often a couple's biggest investment. What will happen to the residence, now that the ex-spouses don't want to even see each other? The answer to this question differs tremendously from divorce to divorce, and depends on such factors as the amount of maintenance or other property received by one of the spouses, and on the presence of children under 18. Attorney Albert Gurevich, Esq. will do everything possible for you to keep the house if you wish to do so, or to obtain a large part of the selling price if the house is sold.


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Do not attempt to transfer property to your friends or relatives before starting the divorce. Similarly, do not ask your friends to put unjustified liens on the property. This will only hurt you when the judge finds out.

Albert Gurevich, Esq.