Albany Marital Property Laws

During a divorce proceeding in New York, a court determines the distribution of marital property, according to New York Domestic Relations Law §236. “Marital property” refers to property earned or obtained jointly during the marriage.

In contrast, a court would likely classify an individual’s inheritance received during the marriage as separate property. More specific questions on the distinction between separate and marital property can be answered by a qualified Albany equitable distribution attorney.

Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

Under NYDRL §236, the separate property of each party to a divorce typically remains separate property. In other words, each party generally keeps their separate property after the divorce is finalized. However, in lieu of any preexisting agreement, a court may divide marital property as equitably as it sees fit.

The court may consider the following factors when distributing marital property:

  • Financial situation of each party
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Health and age of each party
  • Impact of any alimony awards
  • Efforts made by either party that contributed to the earning potential of the other party

Additionally, if one individual has custody of any children, a court may consider the needs of that spouse to occupy or own the marital home. NYDRL §236 generally permits Albany courts to enter orders on the use or occupancy of the marital home, in addition to deciding ownership. An equitable distribution lawyer in Albany can provide more information on how courts generally divide marital property, including a home or residence.

Distribution of a Business

New York State law recognizes that certain marital property cannot be easily or legally divided. Such property includes interest in a business or corporation, according to NYDRL §236. In these cases, a court may make a monetary or other distributive award to “achieve equity between the parties.” In other words, a court may order payments or other distributions to compensate the individual who does not own the business interest.

For example, if a court cannot divide one party’s 10 percent interest in a corporation, it may order that spouse to compensate the other spouse in an amount which they determine represents their fair interest.

Contact an Albany Equitable Distribution Attorney Today

No one wants to go through a messy separation or divorce. The good news, however, is that you may be able to avoid such problems by recognizing in advance issues that may arise, such as the distribution of marital property.

Our Albany equitable distribution lawyers can sit down with you and discuss the kind of property distribution you need and to which you are entitled. Then, we can represent your interests in any divorce or separation proceeding to make sure you receive an equitable share of your marital property. In order to get to work defending your property rights, call Tully Rinckey PLLC at (518) 218-7100 or email to schedule a consultation.

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