Equitable Distribution: Asset Division in a New York Divorce

Equitable distribution refers to the assets being divided fairly, and is based on numerous factors including:

  • The length of the parties' marriage;
  • The parties' respective contributions to the marriage;
  • The parties' respective financial circumstances, including that following the divorce, among other enumerated factors

While most divorces are resolved by agreement, frequently reaching an agreement cannot be achieved until there is a financial discovery, the identification and valuation of assets which is a necessary part of both the settlement process and litigation.

When Assets Are Complex

Our cases regularly include cases involving:

  • complex financial valuations involving professional practices;
  • licenses and degrees;
  • enhanced earning capacity;
  • closely held businesses, limited partnerships; holding companies;
  • Stock options;
  • Deferred compensation;
  • Tax issues;
  • The tracing of pre-marital and separate property which is not subject to distribution unless there are issues as to the co-mingling and/or transmutation of separate assets with marital assets.

Support

In New York, spousal support is referred to as Maintenance and is calculated through a series of formulas. It may be awarded to a spouse who is unable to be self-supporting and/or for a period of time in order to enable a spouse to become self-supporting. There are specific factors which are considered to determine its duration, including the former marital lifestyle, the parties' financial means, ages the assets of the parties, including those to be distributed to each party upon the divorce, presence and ages of any children of the marriage, tax consequences, and whether there has been any wasteful dissipation of assets, among others.

In New York, both parties are responsible for the financial support of their children under the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) which support is determined through the application of a formula applied to the parties' respective incomes and numerous discretionary factors which are considered. It is a child's right to receive support.

We approach this often challenging issue with the same level of detail and knowledge as to the specific facts and factors present in each case, the applicable law and supporting case law, and the means by which the Court applies all of the foregoing to determine child support.

Continuous Case Review and Evolution of Our Strategies

We are constantly reviewing our strategy, developments in the law and the case while considering the best way to advance our client's position. From this experience a supported settlement proposal can be presented which includes creating practical and innovative solutions, all of which often facilitate a resolution. When such efforts are unattainable, we are fully prepared to advance them at trial.