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What are the factors for property division in a New York divorce?

When a New York State couple divorces, there is often confusion as to how their property will be divided. Issues frequently arise surrounding marital property, non-marital property and other factors. Understanding how this will be settled is imperative to a case and can save time, money and the energy that comes from a longstanding dispute.

In some instances, the couple will have an agreement as to how the property will be disposed of beforehand. If this is not the case, then there are certain criteria that must be met regarding the property. If it was separate property, it will remain so. Marital property, however, will be divided in an equal manner between the parties with the circumstances of that property key to its distribution. When deciding how the property will be equitably distributed, the court will take numerous factors into consideration.

The factors include: the income and property of the parties at the time they were married and what it was at the time the divorce proceeding commenced; how long the couple was married and the age and health of the parties; if a custodial parent needs to live in or own the residence the couple shared while married and to use the items therein; if there is a loss of an inheritance and pension rights when the marriage ends; if health benefits will be lost when the marriage ends; and if there is an award of maintenance.

The following will also be considered: contributions made to acquire material property, how the homemaker might have contributed to the working spouse's advancement, education and similar matters; the liquidity or non-liquidity of marital property; the probable future financial circumstances; how difficult it will be to evaluate assets or interests; tax consequences; if there was wasteful dissipation of the assets; if there were transfers or burdens made when preparing to divorce without considering the consequences; and any other factor that the court considers fair and proper.

When a couple is divorcing, property can be a contentious part of the process. This is true even if the divorce is amicable. No matter the type of divorce, having legal assistance with property division is vital to the future and should not be ignored.

Source: jdbar.com, "5. Disposition of property in certain matrimonial actions.," accessed on June 26, 2017

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