Going through a divorce can be a very complex and tiring process. Divorce requires several legal matters that must be addressed before the marriage is legally over. A very important part of a divorce is dividing a couple’s assets between the two of them. In some cases, spouses are able to come to a decision regarding their assets outside of court. Other times, they may disagree on certain terms and need the assistance of a trial to settle their issues. An experienced attorney in Rockland County can guide you through your divorce proceedings.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
If a couple requires the help of the court to divide their assets, a judge will be assigned to determine their arrangements for them. In this process, the judge makes all decisions regarding how the assets are divided amongst the two spouses. In order to do this, judges determine which assets are considered to be marital property and which are separate property. The differences between the two are:
- Marital Property: Any assets and debts collected during the marriage. This may include any properties acquired before the marriage that were converted into marital property when the marriage started.
- Separate Property: Any assets and debts that were collected before the marriage and agreed to stay as separate property during the marriage. This may also include other properties, gifts, or inheritance.
While many believe that a couple’s property is always divided equally between them during a divorce, this is not always the case. New York is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that when a couple goes to court to divide their assets, a judge will divide their assets fairly between them. In order to determine what is considered fair, the judge comes to a conclusion based on several different factors of the marriage. This may include:
- The age and health of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- Economic circumstances
- Each spouse’s contribution to marital property
- Any tax consequence that may apply
Usually, judges do not consider marital fault while dividing a couple’s assets. Instead, they may consider if there is an economic fault. If a spouse handles assets irresponsibly, the judge may lean in the favor of the other spouse.
While it may not be possible for all couples, some wish to work out their divorce outside of court. There are several options for a couple to make this possible. One method of divorce outside of a courtroom is mediation. Mediation gives spouses the opportunity to negotiate their marital issues with the assistance of an unbiased third party. This third party listens to both spouses’ concerns and helps them reach an agreement regarding these issues. This gives couples the chance to work on separating without the help of the court.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to speak with an attorney about your division of assets, contact the Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC. today.
The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC is an experienced divorce and family law firm located in New City, NY. It is essential to retain effective legal guidance during such pivotal times in life. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal matter and get the quality legal representation you deserve.