Does Party Conduct Influence Equitable Division of Property in NY?

Since New York is an equitable distribution state, the assets of the parties will be divided up “equitably”.   This is done with the concept of considering what the parties contributed towards the marriage.  One of the most important aspects of determining equitable division in New York has to do with determining all of the property linked to the marriage first.  Since property division sets the tone for the future, more often than not parties to a divorce are curious about what will influence the final decision.

In general, misconduct that could be classified as “ordinary” does not influence how marital property is divided up in the courts.  In the event that one party attempts to hide assets to protect them from being divided, the court does have some leeway if this secrecy is uncovered.  The trial court may even decide that NY equitable division in these cases involves giving all of the concealed funds or assets to the other spouse.

If assets have been dissipated in other ways, the court has the authority to rule in a manner that is determined to “fairly compensate” for the dissipation.  This might include situations where a party has caused the other party to sustain a permanent disability or money that has been spent on gambling or drugs.

In short, you need to consult with someone who is experienced in the process of equitable division in NY to determine how property could be divided in your case.  While general misconduct does not influence property awards often, there are exceptions.

Prenuptial Agreements in Westchester County Just Got Easier

Prenuptial Agreements in Weschester County have not only become more popular—they’ve become easier than ever to make.   With the rise in alternative dispute resolution processes like prenuptial agreement mediation, determining how property will be distributed and what scope of alimony would be fair doesn’t require “lawyering up” to make the process more difficult than it has to be.

But I love him/her…

While most marrying couples like to believe that they will never separate or need to go through with the terms of the agreement, the simple fact is: separation happens often, and to the strongest relationships.   Beyond the normal “triggers” for divorce, there are situations that occur that are out of the control of both parties, making marriages dissolve and separations happen even in the most well-meaning relationships.   Preparing for this possibility is not cynical or unromantic—rather, it is smart thinking and wise financial planning for both partners.

This is why you need it.

When separation and divorce does occur, for most couples going through it, the transition can be financially and emotionally devastating for everyone in the family—including the children.   The primary reason this happens is because the family hadn’t planned for this, or hadn’t thought of the logistics of how it would work out to separate one household into two.   In addition to moving costs, the costs of an additional mortgage or rent payment, and the expense of new furniture and household goods, the emotional toil a separation or divorce has a heavy cost, too.   With a mediated prenuptial agreement, there is already an outline of how to shield the family as much as possible from these costs, or from one person taking on an unfair portion of them.

Why Separation Agreements in Rockland County Aren’t As Complicated As They Seem

Separation agreements in Rockland County don’t have to be as complicated as many make them.   In fact, with alternative dispute resolution processes like separation agreement mediation, separating couples can easily and legally settle on equitable distribution of property for far less money and less time than it would take to litigate such a dispute.

Enforceability

One of the first questions separating couples entering separation agreement mediation want to know is this: can our agreement be legally enforced if the other party doesn’t hold up his or her end of the bargain?

The answer is yes, but only as much as any standard contract can be enforced.   This means that as with any other contract, if the agreement is not upheld, one party must sue the other for breach of contract.   Keep in mind that being the one that upholds the agreement puts you in a favorable position with the judge if you do have to take it to court.   With the right evidence, the judge will be able to see that the other party did not hold up their end of the contract and rule accordingly.

Confidentiality

A separation agreement does not come without some emotional upheaval and (possibly) embarrassment.   You are dividing property that you likely bought together and the emotional connections to that property are often shared by both parties.   In situations like these, having your personal affairs aired in a public courtroom is one of the last things you’d want to do.   This is where separation agreement mediation wins over litigation every time.

Separation agreements mediation in Rockland County is a confidential process and there is no public record of the process, nor is their public record of the agreement that is reached.   You will be able to handle the equitable distribution of property in a fair, private and quiet manner—an attractive prospect for most people going through this emotional process.

Three Frequently Asked Questions about Equitable Distribution in New York

Equitable distribution in New Yorkdoesn’t have to be a difficult process.   In fact, many divorcing or separated couples have discovered mediation to be a highly useful, cost-effective approach to splitting up the property that they have accumulated together during the years they have been married or cohabitating.

What is equitable distribution mediation?

Mediation for equitable distribution of property in New York is an alternative dispute resolution process that allows couples who are divorcing or separating to distribute the marital property fairly.   Often, this type of conflict can be charged with emotion (for example, property that reminds parents of their children’s early years, or property that has intense sentimental value for both disputants).  Equitable distribution mediation encourages communication instead of litigation, and is facilitated by a neutral, third-party mediator who is an expert in divorce, property ownership, and equitable distribution law.

How does equitable distribution mediation work?

In equitable distribution mediation, the mediator will help you go through the process of determining what marital property you have, the value of each item of property, and how to split the marital property fairly considering all circumstances.

How do we find an equitable distribution mediator in New York?

Ask around and see if any of your friends, co-workers or family members have used mediation to resolve a divorce, separation or property distribution case.   If you don’t get any referrals, take the time to research the mediators in your area who have had extensive experience dealing with cases similar to yours.   Many will have this information available on their websites or by contacting them via email.

ASK & ANSWER COLUMN

Q. Is mediation for everyone?

A. No. The only requirement for a successful mediation is an honest desire to discuss separation issues. However, some people are so filled with anger and resentments that it makes mediation impossible.

New York Equitable Distribution

In New York, property is divided equitably when a couple divorces. This can result in an equal property division, but it doesn’t always. An equitable property division is one that is fair, considering what each spouse contributed to the marriage and what each spouse will need to move forward.

Equitable distribution is a method for dividing a married couple’s property when they divorce.

New York is an equitable distribution state. When a couple divorces, the court must divide their marital property equitably, or fairly. This doesn’t necessarily require an equal split of the couple’s assets.