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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.