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The division of assets and debts in marriage dissolution proceedings represents one of the most emotionally challenging and legally arduous aspects of a divorce case. For this reason, if you are facing a divorce, you are well served seriously considering engaging the services of a seasoned New York equitable distribution of assets lawyer.
Division of Property Standard in New York Divorce Cases
New York law establishes the equitable division of property standard to be used in divorce cases. The standard directs that assets and debts in a divorce case be divided between the spouses in a fair and equitable manner. The equitable division of property standard does not mean that assets and debts be divided equally, only fairly.
The equitable division of property standard is utilized in the vast majority of states in the United States. The other property division standard utilized in less than a dozen states is called community property. California is a prime example of a state that utilizes the community property standard. When the community property standard is utilized, the presumption is that assets and debts of a marriage are divided equally.
Factors Considered in Equitably Dividing Property and Debt
The court considers a variety of factors when it comes to the equitable division of assets and debts in divorce proceedings. There is no set template utilized by courts in New York when it comes to dividing assets and debts, no set of guidelines. The facts and circumstances of an individual case, and associated marriage, dictate the manner in which property and debt are distributed in a marriage dissolution case.
Defining Marital Assets
Only marital assets and debts are subject to division between the parties in divorce proceedings. In other words, if a spouse brings certain types of property he or she owns into the marriage, that asset will not be subject to division in divorce. As a general rule, these types of assets remain with the person who brought them into a marriage. They are not considered part of the overall asset calculation in a divorce. The same holds true for certain debts.
There are caveats to these general rules. For example, if marital assets are used to pay off a debt that was brought into a marriage, that fact will be considered in equitably dividing assets and debts at the time of a divorce. An experienced New York equitable distribution of assets lawyer can explain these caveats to the general rule regarding the manner in which property and liabilities are divided in a divorce case.
If you face issues regarding assets and debts, you best protect your legal interests with an experienced New York equitable distribution of assets lawyer. The first step in engaging legal counsel is an initial consultation. Through an initial consultation, you will obtain more information about the equitable division of assets and debts law in the state of New York. You will also obtain answers to any questions you may have about your case, your assets, and your debt. There usually is not a legal fee charged for an initial consultation with a New York equitable distribution of assets lawyer.
This article is from Marc Albert, a fellow Long Island lawyer. When going to court, you have the ability and the right to collect as much information as possible about the situation at hand before going in front of a judge. There are many ways you can collect this information. A deposition is one way you can get the information you need to make your case in court.
A deposition is essentially an interview. The person being deposed is responsible for answering questions posed by the person doing the deposition. In most cases, depositions are done by lawyers who represent a client. Lawyers are usually trained in how to conduct an efficient deposition and have the resources available to make the most of the information that comes out of a deposition. Depositions are rarely done by clients representing themselves, although they very well could be.
Are You Being Deposed?
If you receive a subpoena or a request to give a deposition, that means that you have some information that the person doing the deposition wants or needs. If you receive a subpoena then, just like with a subpoena for a court appearance, you are required to show up for the deposition. You should read the subpoena carefully to see if it requires you to bring certain documents or other items with you to the deposition. If you find yourself in a bind about whether you can release certain information in a deposition then you should consult an attorney beforehand. For example, if you are a mental health professional and receive a subpoena for a deposition with client records, then you should make sure you are following your profession’s rules of confidentiality before you go for the deposition.
Many people get nervous at the thought of being deposed, especially when they feel like they do not have any information that would be of any value. It is important for you to remember that lawyers are constantly developing and revising case strategies to serve the best interests of their clients. Sometimes depositions are very intense because you are clearly a key witness in a case (this is what you generally see on TV shows and in movies). In many cases, though, depositions are done simply to talk with potential witnesses and see what they know. It is possible that once you give a deposition you will never be involved with that case again. Either way, you should stay calm and focus on simply telling the truth.
What To Expect At A Deposition
When you go in for a deposition, you can expect a relatively casual atmosphere with some extra people in the room. The person or party that called you for a deposition will most likely be present along with his/her attorney. In this case, the attorney will be asking you questions while the person or party observes. Any other parties to the case will also likely be present along with their lawyers. This means that there could be a lot of people in the room simply observing you and not actually saying anything. There will also be a court reporter present who will be typing and/or recording the deposition and creating a written transcript. The only thing you need to do differently during a deposition is to make sure you do not talk over others so that the court reporter can accurately record the conversation and make the transcript.
The deposition will be a series of questions and answers. Some questions may be long while others may be short. Some may seem completely irrelevant and others may seem to be glazed over. You should focus on telling the truth and providing the information requested of you rather than worrying about the strategy behind the questions and how the information may be used. Once the requesting party is done asking questions then the deposition will be over. If the deposition runs for a long time then do not be afraid to ask for breaks to get food, water, or visit the restroom.
The biggest difference between a deposition and a general interview or conversation is that you will be sworn under oath. This means that you must answer each question truthfully. If you do not answer truthfully then that may be used against you later to impeach conflicting information or to charge you with perjury. This is why it is especially important that you consult an attorney if you are unsure of what you can and cannot say in a deposition.
Once a deposition is complete, the parties in a case will have a legally admissible set of evidence that they can use however they see fit. Deposition evidence can be invaluable in preparing a case for court and facilitating negotiations to avoid a trial.
If you don’t have the money to hire a divorce lawyer, you may be wondering whether you can sell assets that were purchased during your marriage to cover those lawyer costs.
This is known as Dissipation of Marital Assets, and although you can technically do this, it’s hardly ever in your best interest. It can result in penalties and could end up costing you once the divorce is finalized. However, this does depend on the property that you’re selling.
The Types of Property in Relation to Marriage
When it comes to a marriage, there are two basic types of property – marital property and separate property.
Marital property applies to most property that you and your spouse acquire during your marriage. Since you two acquired it while married, you are each owners of the property. During the divorce process, you both would need to come to an agreement on how to divide your marital property, and if you can’t, the court will decide that for you.
Separate property is property that only one spouse owns. This includes property that one of you owned before the marriage and certain property obtained during a marriage. For example, if you inherit a sum of money or a house while married, that would be separate property and belong to you alone.
Selling Property to Pay for a Divorce Lawyer
Since both you and your spouse are entitled to marital property, the court won’t want you to sell any of that property before the divorce agreement is finalized, along with the division of assets.
Separate property, on the other hand, is fair game. Since that property is yours and yours alone, you could sell it to pay for your divorce lawyer with no consequences. If you’re having trouble affording a lawyer and you need to sell some possessions, it’s in your best interest to sell separate property first.
The Consequences of Selling Marital Property
Let’s say that you don’t have enough separate property to sell to pay for your divorce lawyer, and you decide that you’ll sell marital property instead.
The court will likely handle this in one of two ways. It could simply require you to pay your spouse half of whatever money you made by selling the marital property. If you made $50,000 by selling property, you would then need to pay your spouse $25,000.
The other option for the court would be to require that the entire amount is taken from your side of the settlement agreement once the divorce goes through. Using the above example, you would then end up with $50,000 less in whatever agreement is setup, either by you and your spouse or by the court.
This could pose a problem if the total value of what you receive in the settlement isn’t enough to cover what you owe. In that case, you could end up owing your ex-spouse a cash payment for the amount in question.
Now, this doesn’t mean that selling marital property to pay for a divorce lawyer is always a bad idea. If there is a substantial amount of property, you may need to sell some of it to pay for your lawyer. Just make sure you understand the consequences of doing so.
Paying for Your Divorce Lawyer
Whenever possible, you’re better off paying for your divorce lawyer either without selling any property, or by only selling separate property and not any of your marital property.
Talk to your divorce lawyer to see what your options are. If you don’t have any income or you make significantly less than your spouse, there may be other options so that you can still hire a lawyer. Your lawyer can talk to the court about this, as well. In some cases, the court will even agree to let you sell marital property to allow you to have a lawyer and be on an even playing field.
Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.
Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.
Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.
Our divorce lawyers provide superior service, and results, with a white glove touch that few others can deliver.
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