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Simonetti & Associates, Nassau County Divorce Lawyer

Long Island Equitable Distribution Lawyers Help Ensure Fair Property Divisions.


Defending your property rights in settlement negotiations and at trial.


One of the most vexing problems in a New York divorce is dividing the couple’s assets and debt. New York follows the rule of equitable distribution, which demands that the court oversee a fair division of marital property. That doesn’t necessarily mean 50/50. And what seems fair from one spouse’s point of view could seem unjust from the other’s perspective. Simonetti & Associates works diligently to ensure fair property divisions. We gather evidence, seek expert opinions on complex financial matters, and build the best case to support your rights. If you’re considering divorce or not getting the attention you deserve from the attorney working on your property division, consider a call to Simonetti & Associates.


How does New York law divide a couple’s assets and debt?


Courts generally follow the steps below when dividing assets in compliance with the equitable distribution rule:

1. Sort the property. A court decides whether each asset is marital property or separate property according to the following definitions:

  • Marital property: Property obtained after the marriage began
  • Separate property includes property obtained before the marriage and continually held as separate property and property that a spouse inherited or received as a gift during the marriage and continually held as separate property. Whether property that was separate remained separate is a question of fact for the judge to decide; your attorney must be able to argue persuasively in your favor.

2. Assign values to the property. If necessary, marital property is appraised to assign a value as of a specific date. The date selected can have a significant effect on the appraised value. For example, an appraisal of the marital home or a stock portfolio could vary greatly between the date you file for divorce and your final divorce hearing.

3. Distribute assets. Finally, the court distributes property to the spouses based on what the judge considers fair under the circumstances. New York courts rarely punish a spouse for being at fault for the divorce but will punish bad behavior that dissipates the marital estate more often. A spendthrift spouse may receive a smaller share of assets as a penalty.


The problem of joint and several liabilities when dividing debts and liability


Couples who negotiate a divorce settlement have to be careful about how they assign debt. Their settlement agreement may intend that one party, such as a credit card, takes sole responsibility for liability. However, unless the documents are correctly executed, the creditor may claim the debt is still joint and several. If your spouse stops paying, the creditor may come after you to satisfy the obligation. An experienced divorce attorney can help ensure your divorce settlement is clear about debt assignments and spare you the aggravation of dealing with your ex-spouse’s creditors.


Retirement division in a New York state divorce


Retirement accounts are frequently the most significant asset in a Long Island divorce. According to New York state law, retirement funds paid into during the marriage are marital property and subject to equitable distribution. Most often, an ex-spouse will be entitled to 50 percent of the benefit earned during the marriage. Through a qualified domestic relations order, QDRO, your attorney can divide a retirement plan without liquidating the account, saving you from tax liability.



Call our Long Island equitable distribution lawyers for a free consultation.


If you want to maximize your marital assets, remember that Simonetti & Associates provides quality legal representation at an affordable price. Contact us online or at 877-385-2560 today to arrange a free consultation. We offer flexible office hours at our Syosset and Water Mill locations and return calls after hours for your convenience.

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    Attorney Advertising. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

    Equitable Distribution Lawyer
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    Equitable Distribution Lawyer
    Provider Name
    Simonetti & Associates, Telephone No.877-385-2560
    Long Island
    If you want to make the most of your marital assets, remember that Simonetti & Associates provides quality legal representation at an affordable price.