If you are going through a divorce, you may be wondering what an equitable divorce is. The sound of it may have you worried about splitting your assets completely down the middle. Equitable Distribution is not exactly what it sounds like.
If your question is “what is equitable distribution? Does it mean that everything gets divided equally between the parties?” The answer is no. It’s not an equal distribution, it’s an equitable distribution. Doesn’t that mean that everything is split in half?
In New York State, assets that are acquired during 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:
- if you get an inheritance
- a gift from a family member
Those are not going to be subject to equitable distribution. The court then has to make a determination how these assets get acquired. Who brought out the assets being brought into the marriage? The court pays attention to 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 is all looked at. 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, a situation where you have retirement benefits, those assets are going to be divided, a case, an appalled court case.
The 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. This essentially gives 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.
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 why the situation becomes difficult for the parties to resolve.
If you need an experienced attorney, contact Randy Gugino for representation that is dedicated to you.