Property Division Attorney In Nassau County
As a lawyer with more than 40 years of experience focusing solely on matrimonial and family law, I have found that property division is among the most contested issues in many divorce cases, second only to child custody.
Whether you are involved in a fault or no-fault divorce, I can help you understand your rights under New York’s equitable distribution statutes. As your lawyer, depending on your needs and priorities, I can assist you in reaching a property division agreement outside of court, or I can fight for your best interests in the courtroom.
Since 1996, I have been a Board Certified Family Law Trial Specialist* by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
What Is Equitable Distribution?
A key part of equitable distribution is that there are two types of property:
- Marital property is any asset acquired during the marriage, with three exceptions: gifts other than those between spouses, inheritances and proceeds from personal injury actions.
- Separate property includes all assets acquired by either party prior to the marriage and any assets acquired after a dissolution proceeding is commenced.
If you seek to have an asset declared separate property, many things must be considered including title, source of funds, whether it has been commingled with marital assets, and contributions of either party to enhance its value. These factors may affect whether it is or remains separate property, and whether a portion of the asset is marital.
Does Fault Affect Property Division?
Similar to spousal maintenance issues, two forms of fault can affect equitable distribution — egregious fault and economic fault. Egregious fault is fault that would place the well-being of the other spouse in jeopardy, such as injuring the spouse to such an extent that it could become life-threatening. Economic fault includes such things as uncontrolled gambling that results in substantial financial losses to the marriage, or spending marital funds on a paramour.
As is true with maintenance, equitable distribution is based upon statutory factors including, the length of the marriage, the health of the parties, earning capacity, ability to become self-supporting and the presence of children in the household, among other things.
My approach has been, no matter the length of the marriage, that all marital assets should be divided equally. This can be done by trading one asset for another or liquidating and dividing a specific asset, or a combination of these things. In some cases, in addition to or as part of the distribution of assets, it is appropriate for one spouse to provide a money payment to the other.
Some assets, such as real property, a business or professional practice, a pension, collectibles and antiques may need to be valued by an expert. Some valuations are quick, and others may require significant discovery (exchange of documents).
When you are ready to talk to an attorney about property division, please call 516-441-7432 or schedule a consultation online. I represent clients in Queens County, Nassau County, Suffolk County and the surrounding areas.
*The National Board of Trial Advocacy is not affiliated with any governmental authority. Certification is not a requirement for the practice of law in the State of New York and does not necessarily indicate greater competence than other attorneys experienced in this field of law.