The division of assets is something that all divorcing couples in New York must address, which is why it is useful to understand. Knowing how property is divided in New York can help couples going through the divorce process negotiate a fair settlement agreement. During the property division process, many questions usually come up.
The only property that is generally subject to property division is marital property. Therefore, it is helpful to understand how property is classified into categories including marital property and separate property. Property can also be considered co-mingled, so divorcing couples should also be aware of that. Marital property generally includes assets acquired during the marriage, while separate property is property the spouses entered the marriage with.
Property division in New York is subject to equitable division. Through equitable division, the court aims to reach a property division outcome that is fair for both parties. However, this does not necessary result in an even split down the middle, where each party walks away with half the property.
To determine what is equitable, the family law court will look to factors including the income and property of each spouse both when the couple married and when they are divorcing; the age and health of the spouses; any requirements of a custodial parent related to children from the marriage; if maintenance has been awarded to one of the spouses; and the anticipated future financial needs of each of the spouses.
The equitable property division process holds as its goal a fair division of property that allows both spouses to be as financially secure as possible moving forward. Being familiar with property division rules in New York when considering divorce can only be beneficial for divorcing couples.