Buffalo Divorce Lawyer Explains Equitable Distribution
As an experienced Buffalo Divorce Lawyer, I often get questions from clients regarding equitable distribution. If your question is “what is equitable distribution, and does it mean that everything gets divided equally between the parties?” the answer is no, it’s not an equal distribution. An equitable distribution doesn’t mean that everything is split in half. In New York State, assets that are acquired during the course of the marriage, from the day of the marriage to the date that the action of the divorce is initiated, are considered to be marital assets. A couple of exemptions include an inheritance, or a gift from a family member for instance. Those are not going to be subject to equitable distribution.
I advise clients as a Buffalo Divorce Lawyer that the court has to make a determination on how do these assets get acquired. Who brought out the assets being brought into the marriage, if it was a situation where the income is being used from one spouse to acquire the asset and the other party was home, that doesn’t mean that the party at home did not contribute. That party at home contributed equally as much as that party that was working and acquiring those assets, at least in the eyes of the court. Equitable distribution of your home, your personal property, your investments, your savings account. Generally speaking, the court is going to take those assets that were acquired during the course of the marriage and split those between the parties.
Pensions, 401k plans, and situations where you have retirement benefits are going to be divided. An appalled court case, Majauskus vs. Majauskus case says that you are entitled to a percentage depending upon how many years of marriage that you’ve had and how many years that you were involved in that investment program, which essentially give someone credit for that period of time prior to the marriage and the investments that they have put in those assets during that period of time. Generally speaking, the division of assets can be worked out through mediation between the parties. The other issues as far as custody and visitation, those issues are usually the situation becomes difficult for the parties to resolve.
If you have questions regarding divorce or equitable distribution, contact our skilled Buffalo NY Divorce Lawyers today for a free confidential consultation. Let our experience work for you.