Saratoga Springs Property Division Lawyer
It often takes time for spouses to untangle their lives after a marriage ends – especially if they disagree about the value, classification, or rights to shared property. Whether you need help negotiating an asset distribution settlement or fighting for the value of your marital contributions, a professional divorce attorney might help you achieve a fair division of property.
You may regret agreeing to a quick property distribution settlement if it is not equitable. A Saratoga Springs property division lawyer could explain your legal rights to shared assets based on your contributions to the marital estate.
Equitable Distribution Rights During Divorce Proceedings
Unless an exception applies, New York Domestic Relations Law § 236B states that any assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage become part of the marital estate. Additionally, property that is titled in one spouse’s name could qualify as being subject to distribution. Courts generally assume each spouse has equal rights to marital property and strive to distribute joint assets fairly.
Property that is not generally divisible in a divorce includes assets acquired before the marriage, personal injury settlements, an inheritance, gifts from non-spouses, and property derived solely from otherwise separate assets. However, one spouse may introduce a binding prenuptial agreement altering the default classification of property or argue that separate assets had transformed into marital property. Legal professionals might help spouses classify and value the assets subject to property division during divorce proceedings.
Common Holdings Subject to Property Division in Saratoga Springs
Disputes may arise if the couple treated legally separate assets as marital property, such as a home purchased by one spouse before the marriage but improved and cared for by the other spouse. Attorneys could argue that otherwise separate property became part of the marital estate or they could request the value of the other spouse’s contributions to an individual holding.
The following items may qualify as marital assets regardless of title:
- Income, checking accounts, and savings accounts
- Stocks, bonds, and businesses
- Homes and land
- Home furnishings, clothing, and jewelry
- Cars and motorcycles
- Intellectual property such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents
- Retirement benefits
Spouses can treat joint assets, such as their income, clothing, and investments, as separate property during a marriage. Such misunderstandings may lead to heated disputes during property division proceedings. An attorney could help divorcing spouses negotiate a property division agreement that allows them to keep certain marital assets, such as stocks or a motorcycle, by offsetting the value of those assets with other items, like the home and furnishings.
Factors to Consider When Distrusting Marital Assets
State law declares that marital property should be distributed equitably between spouses. However, the family court must look at the facts present in each case and consider the following factors before entering a final distribution order:
- The income and property claimed by each spouse including future anticipated financial circumstances
- A custodial parent’s need for the marital home and items therein
- The length of the marriage
- The health and age of both parties including the need for healthcare and retirement benefits
- Contributions to the other party’s career, education, and business through homemaking efforts
- Tax consequences
- Any waste, fraud, or illegal disposal of assets in contemplation of divorce
- Incidents of domestic violence
When distributing marital property, courts will also examine the ease, difficulty, or advisability of splitting certain interests, such as a spouse’s private business. Working with a Saratoga Springs property distribution attorney to identify, value, and negotiate a fair property division agreement could help spouses avoid lengthy and expensive divorce litigation.
Connect with a Saratoga Springs Property Division Attorney
If you helped your spouse through college, built a home together, or put aside your career to raise children, you might have more rights available to you during equitable distribution proceedings. A Saratoga Springs property division lawyer could help spouses save money by drafting a divorce settlement or fight to enforce a prenup.
Do not let your former spouse take advantage of your financial situation when dividing up your property. Call today to see how you could protect your hard-earned property rights.