How to divide Marital Assets

Divorce isn’t easy, there is a lot to think about when filing for divorce. One of the main issues that arise is dividing marital assets. Simonetti & Associates are here to help Nassau County residents navigate complex marital asset divisions. In general, marital property or assets is property obtained during the marriage, except for:

  • Property  acquired by gift, legacy or descent
  • Property acquired in exchange for property obtained before the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, legacy or descent
  • Property gained by a spouse after a judgment of legal separation
  • Property excluded by valid agreement of both parties, as in a pre- or postnuptial agreement
  • The portion of a damage award for personal injury that compensates pain and suffering or punitive damages
  • Any property obtained by judgment awarded to a spouse from the other spouse
  • Property acquired before the marriage

In Nassau County, if the property is determined to be martial, then the court divides the property according to the rule of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution does not mean “equal” division, it means “fair” division. Instead of splitting the assets in half, the doctrine of equitable distribution is used to look at the future financial situation of each spouse after the termination of the marriage.

There are steps in dividing a couple’s assets and debt in New York. Courts generally follow these steps in compliance with the equitable distribution rule, these rules are:

  • Sort the property into one of two options:
  • Marital property – Property obtained after the marriage began
  • Separate property – Property obtained before the marriage and continually held as separate property
  • Assign values to the property – Marital property may be appraised if necessary to assign value as of a specific date
  • Distribute assets – The court then distributes property to the spouses based on what the judge considers fair under the circumstances

If you have any questions about how to divide marital assets, or questions about divorce, in general, contact us today at 877-385-2560. Set up a free consultation with our lawyers today.