At Macedonio & Duncan, LLP we help clients in Suffolk County navigate all aspects of the divorce process, including the division of assets. Our divorce attorneys are up-to-date on the current laws regarding the distribution of marital property and have a track record of achieving positive outcomes for our clients, in and out of the courtroom.
Above all, our practice is dedicated to seeing our clients through the divorce process and making sure their property rights are protected. When you become our client, you will have comfort knowing that we are on your side. Contact our Islip Terrace office today to schedule your initial consultation.
How is marital property divided in Suffolk County?
In short, marital property must be divided according to the rules of equitable distribution. This means that the assets are divided in a way that is fair and reasonable to both parties, but not necessarily an equal 50-50 split. While this seems straightforward, determining the value of the marital estate and who gets what can be complicated, especially in a high-net-worth divorce.
This is why it is crucial to work with a divorce attorney who understands New York law governing the division of marital assets, knows how to negotiate a fair settlement, and has the trial skills to litigate when necessary. Trust Macedonio & Duncan to stand by you and make sure you are treated fairly in the final divorce decree.
What exactly is marital property?
In a divorce, it is important to understand the difference between separate and marital property. Each spouse is allowed to walk away from the marriage with his or her own separate property. This includes property acquired by either party before the marriage, an inheritance or gift received individually, proceeds from a legal settlement, and property excluded by a prenuptial agreement.
On the other hand, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, which essentially includes any property acquired during the marriage, such as:
- Rental properties
- Furnishings, jewelry, art, antiques, precious metals
- Retirement or pension plans
- Investment accounts
- Bank accounts
- Cash value of life insurance policies
In addition, closely-held businesses and professional practices are subject to division in a Suffolk County divorce. Also, debts incurred during the course of the marriage are considered marital debts which both spouses will be responsible to pay. Given the challenges of identifying marital assets and arriving at equitable distribution, it is crucial to have the informed representation Macedonio & Duncan provides.
Deciding What Is “Equitable” in Division of Assets
During divorce negotiations or litigation, several factors are considered to determine what type of distribution is equitable. These include:
- Each spouse’s income and financial condition during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and health
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of marital property
- The need of the parent with custody of any children to remain in the family home
- Whether spousal maintenance (alimony) has been awarded
- Any contributions to the increased earning capacity of either spouse
Other factors that come into play include any health insurance, pensions, or potential inheritance rights either spouse will lose after the divorce, the tax consequences to each spouse, and the likely future financial condition of each spouse.
Obviously, a family home or a business cannot be split in half, and disputes about the division of these and other types of marital property can become contentious. Moreover, you should know that attempts by either spouse to conceal or transfer assets to avoid equitable distribution can result in significant penalties. Ultimately, the best way to protect your rights is to have the advice and guidance of an experienced divorce attorney.
At Macedonio & Duncan, we know what it takes to divide marital assets in a way that is fair and equitable. Our legal team regularly collaborates with a respected network of appraisers, accountants, and other financial professionals to determine the fair value of the marital estate, including any businesses. While we prefer to reach negotiated resolutions to property division issues, we are always prepared to litigate to achieve the best possible outcome.
Contact Our Suffolk County Division of Assets Attorneys Today
If you are considering divorce and have questions about the division of marital assets, turn to Macedonio & Duncan, LLP. We will take the time to understand your circumstances, explain the process, and work to protect your property rights. Knowing that divorce is a difficult transition, we will offer you knowledge, compassion, and the personal attention you deserve. Contact us today to speak with an experienced divorce attorney.