It is not unusual for people to form attachments to their personal possessions. In some cases, they can hold important memories, and in other cases, the attachment could be purely for an item’s monetary value. Whatever the case, most individuals would not take kindly to losing a portion of their assets. However, that is likely to happen if you go through divorce.
Understandably, you may worry about your spouse trying to leave you with nothing as you move forward with ending your marriage. Thankfully, that is probably not going to be the case. Each state complies with specific property division laws that come into play when couples choose to divorce.
A fair distribution
In New York, divorce cases and the property division associated with them adhere to equitable division laws. Equitable division means that the court will distribute the marital assets as fairly as possible – rather than an equal 50/50 split – based on various considerations, including the following:
- Each spouse’s education level
- Each spouse’s employability
- The amount of money each individual spends
- The age and health of each of you
- The standard of living you were used to during the marriage
- Earning potential of each of you
- Specific financial needs
Of course, other details may need to go under consideration depending on the exact circumstances of your marriage and financial affairs.
If you have certain assets that you obtained before you entered into your marriage, those assets may fall into the category of separate property. Your separate property, as well as your spouse’s, is not up for division during your divorce proceedings. However, it is possible that conflict over whether something is marital or separate property could arise, so having evidence that a particular asset belongs solely to you may be useful.
Commonly, property division can be the most contentious aspect, but it may be possible for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to come to an agreement outside of court. A judge would still need to approve the decisions, but working together on an agreement may help you through the process more quickly. If working with your spouse to negotiate a reasonable asset division outcome is not feasible, you may want to gain additional information on your legal rights and options when it come to the division of your marital property.