NYC Property Division Attorneys
Assisting divorcing couples with asset division in Manhattan
New York is an equitable distribution state. What this means is that, during a divorce, your marital property will be divided in a way that is fair and equitable to both you and your spouse. However, note that equitable does not necessarily mean equally. The court takes many factors and variables into account when determining property and asset division. It is up to a skilled divorce lawyer to explain to a court why a certain division of property is “fair” under the relevant law.
In a divorce, only the marital property of a couple is divided. Generally, the marital property includes any assets and property acquired by the couple during the marriage, including income, retirement benefits, or appreciation of property or businesses obtained during the marriage.
The divorce attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP have spent decades representing the people of New York City and Westchester in matters of property division, alimony (spousal support), child support, and child custody. Our trusted lawyers work to secure the best possible outcome during this challenging time in your life.
Dividing marital assets in NYC
In most cases, any assets you or your spouse acquire during the course of your marriage are subject to division – regardless of whose name the property is in. Additionally, the value of these assets can continue to appreciate or depreciate until the day you divorce. These assets can include:
- Art and jewelry
- Automobiles and other vehicles
- Benefits and pensions
- Family businesses or practices
- Family home
- IRAs and 401Ks
- Real estate
- Retirement savings
- Savings and checking accounts
- Stock portfolios
- Intellectual property
- Furniture and personal property
Separate property in a divorce
Non-marital assets, or separate property, remain just that in a divorce, and are not subject to division (subject to some exceptions). Unless you or your spouse made a contribution (financial or non-financial) to the value of your separate property during the marriage, you are permitted to keep that separate property under New York law. Separate property (subject to some caveats) is considered:
- Inheritances and third party gifts
- Pre-marital assets
- Personal injury lawsuit settlements
- Assets acquired from the sale of separate property
The attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP can answer any questions you have about what is marital property versus what is separate property.
Family business and practices
Marital businesses or professional practices also be equitably divided. However, this can be a complex and difficult task. For example, if one spouse owned the business before the marriage but worked in the business during the marriage, the financial appreciation may be considered marital property.
Marital waste or dissipation of assets
One issue that comes up in NYC divorces is marital waste. Marital waste is when one spouse wastes marital assets without the consent of the other spouse. This can happen throughout the marriage or, more often, as the marriage begins to fall apart. Wasted assets can include money spent on extramarital affairs, money spent on gambling, money spent on drugs, giving away money to family members/ friends before separation. If the court proves one spouse has committed marital waste, they will typically have to make reparations to the other spouse.
Protecting your assets in a NYC divorce
One of the best ways to protect your assets is with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Setting terms on separate versus marital property early in your marriage can ease conflict and tension later on, saving time and money in the event of a divorce. If you have no such agreement in place, it is crucial you consult with an experienced attorney to ensure you protect your valuable assets and property.
Manhattan property division lawyers
If you and your spouse are divorcing or considering divorce, ensure you protect your assets during property division. The NYC marital attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP have decades of experience assisting clients with matters of divorce and property division – schedule a consultation with us today. You can reach us at 212-867-9123 or fill out our contact form.