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.