How Are Assets Split in a New York Divorce?

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Businessman separates wooden block. Property division. Divorce

When couples decide to end their marriage, they must determine how to divide their property. The division of assets is one of the most contentious issues couples face when divorcing, especially when spouses feel entitled to certain assets. If you are facing a contested divorce and property distribution is an unresolved issue, you may wonder whether your property will be divided equally. Understanding how New York’s divorce laws address property distribution is essential. Please continue reading to learn how assets are split during a New York divorce and how a knowledgeable Suffolk County Marital Property Attorney can protect your interests during this complex legal process. 

What’s the Difference Between Martial and Separate Property?

For a court to divide property, it must first establish the difference between a couple’s marital and separate property. The distinction between marital and separate property is crucial as marital property is disbursed between the spouses in divorce, while each spouse is typically entitled to keep their property. Essentially, separate property is not subject to distribution during a divorce.

Under New York law, marital property includes any assets spouses acquired during the marriage. This can consist of joint bank accounts, homes, motor vehicles, retirement plans from contributions made during the marriage, a portion of a business that either spouse started during the marriage, gifts between spouses, etc.

Separate property, however, is any assets spouses acquired before the marriage. This includes inheritances or gifts from someone other than your spouse, compensation from settlements, property dictated as separate in a written agreement, etc. It’s important to note that if you have separate assets, they will remain yours if they have not been co-mingled with joint assets during the marriage. If separate property is co-mingled, they will change into marital property and be subject to distribution during a divorce.

Are Assets Split Evenly in a New York Divorce?

While many assume that assets are split evenly during a divorce, this is not the case in New York. Divorce laws are governed by the principle of equitable distribution. New York is not a community property state. This means that judges will distribute a couple’s assets based on what’s fair under the unique circumstances of their case. Essentially, fairness doesn’t necessarily translate to a 50/50 split. During your divorce, marital assets will be divided fairly and equitably, but not necessarily equally. A judge will base the decision on each spouse’s contributions to the marriage.

At the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., our Suffolk County divorce attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the complexities of this process and fight for the best possible outcome. Please don’t hesitate to contact our legal team today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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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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