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Is New York a 50/50 State When it Comes to Divorce?

A common question that I hear “Is New York a 50/50 State when it comes to divorce?” The answer is “No.”

Instead, New York divides marital assets (and debts) “equitably”, which means “fairly”.  For assets, New York courts divide marital assets using New York’s “Equitable Distribution”.

In making the distribution and division of marital property, the Court can consider all or some of the following:

  • The income and property of each party at the time of the marriage;
  • The duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties;
  • The need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects;
  • The loss of inheritance and pension rights upon dissolution of the marriage as of the date of dissolution;
  • The loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage;
  • The need, if any, for maintenance and child support;
  • Any equitable claim to, interest in, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of marital property by the party not having title, including joint efforts and expenditures and contributions and services as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party;
  • The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property;
  • The probable future financial circumstances of each party;
  • The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component or any interest in a business, corporation or profession and the economic desira­bility of retaining such asset or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party;
  • The tax consequences to each party;
  • The wasteful dissipation of assets by either party;
  • Any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration; and
  • Any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper and the parties have considered every other factor they deem relevant.

It is rare that all marital assets are distributed “exactly” 50% to each party. For example, if each party owns their own cars, it is very unlikely that each car is worth the same amount of money. However, provided the difference in value is not so different, many Judges will simply award each party their own car without having to equalize the value. Of course, if one car is worth a great deal more than the other car, a Judge may equalize the value by ordering the person with the car worth more to pay the other party enough cash to allow each party to receive 50%.

However, although, the assets will not be distributed “exactly” 50% to each party, in most cases, each party will end with close to 50% of the assets.

If you have more questions about how assets are divided in a divorce or you are thinking of getting divorced, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com.

The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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