New York City Divorce Lawyers assisting High Net Worth Clients in Property Division
The New York family law attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP have significant experience assisting high net worth clients through the divorce process. When substantial assets are involved in a divorce, property division can become extremely complex. Our NYC property division lawyers thoroughly understand both the legal and financial aspects of identifying, characterizing, valuing, and dividing property upon divorce.
We are a well-established Manhattan law firm, representing families across New York City, Westchester, and other nearby counties such as Rockland, Nassau, and Suffolk.
New York Property Division Law – Equitable Distribution
Under New York’s Equitable Distribution Law, property is to be divided equitably, though not always equally, between divorcing spouses. In order to devise a fair distribution of property, a court’s first step is to characterize property as separate or marital property. A spouse’s separate property generally consists of property a spouse owned before the marriage, property acquired by inheritance or gift, and personal injury payments.
Marital property consists of all property, other than separate property, acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the property. These assets will be divided between the spouses, and may include real property, personal property, businesses, automobiles, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, pension plans, retirement plans, and other items of value.
The New York property division attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP help clients characterize assets, making claims to separate property when appropriate and identifying any and all marital property that may be subject to division.
Property Division in New York – Dividing Marital Property
Once all of the parties’ assets have been identified and characterized, a court must divide the marital property, typically taking into consideration one or more of the following factors:
- The income of the parties at the time of the marriage or at the time of the commencement of the divorce action
- 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/or household items.
- The loss of inheritance, pension rights, and/or health insurance benefits
- An award of spousal maintenance
- Any equitable claim, interest, or contribution the non-titled party made toward property by providing services as a spouse, parent, wage earner, or homemaker, as well as effects on the other spouse’s career
- The liquid or non-liquid character of the marital property
- The probable future financial circumstances of each party
- The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component asset 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 spouse
- Any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration
- Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and proper
We help clients assert their rights and interests in marital property, always working to ensure earned assets are protected and distributed fairly. We can also handle property division issues as an aspect of mediation or collaborative practice.