Getting divorced can feel complicated. There are a lot of decisions that must be made and negotiations that must be completed before the end of a marriage can be reached. It is important that individuals preparing for and engaging with the divorce process have legal advisors that they trust with their most important matters.
One divorce-related issues that can be complex is the division of a couple’s property. The parties to a divorce may disagree on how best to divide up the assets, property, and debts that they own. In New York, property division matters are done with regard to the state’s equitable distribution laws.
There is a lot that individuals should know about equitable distribution, and they can learn about its intricacies from their divorce attorneys. This post will highlight 3 important facts about equitable distribution that may be new to readers. This information should not be read as legal advice of guidance.
Fact #1: Equitable distribution does not mean equal distribution
It is a common mistake for individuals to believe that an equitable distribution of assets will result in an equal split between divorcing parties. Equitable does not mean equal. It means a fair distribution, and fairness in asset division can mean different proportions of shares going to the parties to a divorce.
Fact #2: Equitable distributions may be impacted by premarital agreements
The process of property division can be altered if individuals and their partners executed premarital agreements about their assets. When valid premarital agreements recognize certain items of property as separate, they cannot be later converted to marital property that is subject to division. It is important that individuals review their premarital documents to understand what, if any, impact they will have on their divorces.
Fact #3: Individuals can advocate for themselves during the equitable division process
No part of the divorce process is set in stone, and that includes the division of the parties’ property. When deciding matters of property division, a party and their attorney can advocate for their needs and interests. Strong legal counsel can make an impact on the outcome of New York divorce cases.