NYC Equitable Distribution of Marital Property Attorneys
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property in NYC
New York is an Equitable Distribution State. We specialize in complex equitable distribution cases. Although equitable distribution litigation can be complex with high net worth spouses, it is based on the basic principle that a marriage is an economic as well as social partnership.
The law divides property as either separate or marital. If separate, it stays separate. If marital, then it will be distributed “equitably” or “fairly.” What is “equitable” is decided either by the spouses and their lawyers, and if eventually during the discovery phase of a divorce case it cannot be agreed upon by them, then –and only if–grounds have been stipulated or established by the Court, the Court determines equitable distribution. The Court may consider under New York Domestic Relations Law Section 236(B), the length of the marriage, occupation of the parties, conduct of the parties, employability of the parties, and other factors enumerated therein.
There is no special rule relating to the marital home in a divorce. The Court has the power to order the house or co-op sold, or may order that it be sold when the children finish high school, particularly when the children of a long marriage have known no other home. Or it may take into account whether other suitable housing in the same neighborhood is affordable and available.
The spouse who has “custody” of the children usually petitions the court, sometimes on an emergency basis if there is domestic violence, to not only stay, but to order the offending spouse out of the home (“exclusive use and occupancy of the marital premises”). Which is another way of saying, ‘get the right lawyer’, because who is awarded temporary custody is a key moment in child custody litigation, as it sets the stage of whether your ultimate right to a final determination of custody is an uphill battle or not, which may in the end involve extensive negotiation, and possibly, a trial on custody.
It is a good idea to retain a leading divorce lawyer within your budget early on, rather than scrambling for one 2 weeks before trial.