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The Emotional Side of Property Division
The end of a relationship is always a difficult time. When that also includes division of property, things become both more complicated and more emotionally weighty. In some cases, the couple can draw up a plan and everything proceeds smoothly. In other cases, the interaction becomes acrimonious, plans fall through, and the process is more challenging. The issue for you is that there is often no way to tell how it will go until it happens. That is why it is important for you to retain a lawyer well before things become potentially toxic.
Getting A Property Division Lawyer is a Wise Move
From the beginning, lawyers representing each side of a property division process can help the couple to create an organized plan for division that is in accordance with the law and represents the interests of both parties. The lawyers will provide a calming effect on the proceedings by channeling everything through the official and legal platforms. A good lawyer with experience will also know what kind of property division agreements are most likely to succeed and what points of dispute tend to flare up into greater conflict. Even if things seem to be working out, it is a good precautionary measure to get lawyers involved at the start of the process. They can help with the paperwork and other tasks that you need to complete while advising you about the court, precedent, and how you can settle on an equitable division.
After the first phase is over, several things can happen. One or more parties can change their emotional stance. For example, if they were very aggressive early on, they can mellow out and adjust to the process.
The opposite can also happen- people can realize how passionate they are about making sure they get their things. In either case, lawyers can provide a channel and a method for communication. Doing the negotiation through lawyers helps to codify and solidify the distribution of property. Moreover, the presence of the lawyers short-circuits the tendency that can sometimes happen where couples attempt to re-engage with old fights and disputes. It is much less tempting to do this when it is a lawyer on the other end of the phone or email.
What to Tell Your Property Division Lawyer
A lawyer is someone who will represent your interests. Their job is not to keep the peace or to make sure things are even: they work for you and you alone. Typically, during a division of property you will have an early meeting with your lawyer where you talk about your big-picture goals for how it will work, if there are any non-negotiables or things that are off the table, and how you want everything to go. This meeting is key and you have to be open and honest about what you want so that your lawyer can work to help you get it. That doesn’t mean that you need to give them the whole story of the relationship, but that you shouldn’t hold back about what you want to get out of the process.
You might expect that major items like cars and houses would be sticking points, but issues often come up around objects of sentimental value. These might be small and have little value on their own, but they become suddenly important. Once again, the lawyers work through items of any size and value. It can be hard to deal with things that cannot be split in half, so it is important to keep an objective list of what property is going to each person.
Marital Property vs Separate Property
In Kings County, all the property that a couple acquires in marriage is considered as a communal or marital property. The collection of these is called the marital estate. For this reason, it should be shared equitably between the spouses. Factors including the value increase of property or real estate accompanied by the retirement accounts have to be included in the divorce property division. The exception to this is inheritances and gifts.
When you married your spouse, you may have already been in possession of property, cash savings or investments. Your spouse may have come into the marriage with their own property, cash and/or investments, too. These items are referred to as separate property. You and your spouse have the ability to exclude specific pieces of property from the marital estate by entering into some form of legal marital agreement, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. On the other hand, without the existence of a written and signed agreement, the presumption is that all of property acquired during the marriage is indiscriminately classed as marital property. Inheritances, personal injury/worker’s compensation awards for pain and suffering and any third-party gifts are all exceptions to this rule
Frequently Asked Property Division Questions that May Arise
Having a Business in Marriage
If one spouse came into the marriage owning a business, and then the value of the business grew during the course of marriage, is any share of the business considered marital property?
The Family Residence
If you bought your home together as a married couple, and the idea of selling it to split up the proceeds between them is not a practical solution, then which spouse can continue to live in the home? Will that spouse be required to buy out the other spouse’s share?
Questions about Retirement Funds
In cases where one spouse compiled a great deal of retirement savings over the years of the marriage, is the other spouse entitled to any portion of those savings? If they are, how would those funds be split up?
You should have your Brooklyn property division lawyer who has experience handling these and a wide range of other situations that may come up in the property division part of your divorce.
The Final Stage of Property Division
The next step is to finalize the agreement and then proceed to actually take possession of the right items. Again, do not be surprised if things go poorly. There is a lot of pent-up emotion running through this process. That is why it is so much better to have plans worked out ahead of time and let the lawyers handle it all. Our firm has years of experience in dealing with property division under New York law, which has its own sets of challenges. We will stand by your side and represent your interests as we have done with our many previous satisfied clients. Our track record is strong. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and we know what kind of effect this can have on you, so our team is always professional, courteous, and supportive. Don’t want for things to become complicated: get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation where we can learn more about each other and settle on a strategy