Divorce proceedings can be very complicated and emotionally exhausting for couples. Several legal matters require a great amount of attention before a couple may officially end their marriage. An important part of the proceedings is dividing a couple’s assets between the two spouses. There are some cases in which spouses may be able to come to an agreement on their own without the assistance of the court. Other times, spouses may disagree about what assets belong to whom. These disagreements may require them to go to court in order to resolve the problems. An experienced attorney can guide you through divorce proceedings.
In the event that a couple needs the assistance of the court to divide their assets, a judge will be appointed to make the decisions regarding their assets. In order to do this, the judge must determine which of the assets are considered to be marital property and which are considered to be separate property. The differences between the two are as follows:
It is a common misconception that when a couple divorces, their assets are split 50/50 afterward. This is not always the case, as New York is an “equitable distribution” state. This means a couple’s assets are divided fairly by a judge. To come to a conclusion about what is fair for the spouses and their situations, the judge will consider several outside factors in regard to their marriage. This may include:
Usually, judges do not consider marital fault when they are dividing a couple’s assets. This means they do not look into if one spouse is at fault for the end of the marriage. Instead, they may consider if there is an economic fault. If a spouse handles their assets irresponsibly, the judge may make decisions in favor the other spouse.
Many couples look into settling their divorce outside a courtroom. Instead of divorce through litigation, there are other options for couples to consider. A common alternative method of divorce is mediation. Meditation exists outside of court so that spouses may negotiate their marital issues and come to agreements without the assistance of a judge. Instead, with the help of an unbiased third party, the spouses work out a situation that is best for their situation. This allows them the opportunity to reach terms of separation without the court.
If you are going through a divorce and wish to speak with an attorney about your division of assets, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger today.
Leslye M. Schlesinger serves Rockland and Westchester County with compassion and integrity. With over 30 years of experience guiding clients through matrimony law, she now focuses on helping clients avoid litigation through alternative dispute resolution, including collaborative divorce and mediation. If you need an effective and committed attorney, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger for a consultation.