How are assets divided during divorce?

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Upon filing for divorce, many decisions need to be made. Couples will have to decide on marital issues either in court or in private during mediation sessions. In order for a court to divide the properties of two former spouses, they must establish the difference between marital property and separate property to ensure the division is done fairly. This will help to decipher what was gained as property during the marriage and what was previously owned by each individual prior to marriage. Marital property is considered to be property that is brought into the marriage or acquired during the marriage. It is not individually owned by one spouse. This means that it can be involved in the division of the assets. A couple may begin their marriage by buying a house together, which can be considered marital property since it was intended to be for the benefit of both individuals and was purchased based on the marriage.

Separate property is qualified as assets that were bought before the marriage and were not agreed upon to be brought into the marriage. However, this can become a complicated matter. When couples mix their assets during the marriage or if an asset gains value during that period of time, separate property may not stay entirely separate. Assets can gain value due to the cooperation and financial resources of the marriage. Inheritance is an asset that is handled in a fact-based manner by the courts. If inheritance is acquired during the marriage but is a separate entity, then it may be considered as separate property.

What is equitable distribution?

Equitable distribution is a process that is used to divide the assets that are considered marital property. This means that the assets of a divorced couple should be split in a fair and just manner under the court’s discretion. However, this does not necessarily mean that the assets will be split in an even manner. The court will decide what they believe to be fair. When deciding how to split assets, the court will consider many factors. These factors can include the duration of the marriage, the standard of living, the value of the marital assets, the health and age of both parties and the earning capacity and income of the couple. The allocation of assets can be impacted by the contribution of each party, tax consequences and an individual’s financial situation.

Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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