Methods of Marital Property Distribution

The Legal Scalpel

Not unlike a skilled surgeon's use of the scalpel, the effective divorce lawyer should have courtroom skills, if only to motivate the other spouse to the wisdom of settlement; and the divorce lawyer should also be as adept as a sculptor in framing and chiseling the contours of the family's post-divorce resources and lifestyle.

I have been successfully negotiating and litigating the division of marital property for my New York clients for more than 35 years. These clients include high-profile and high net worth clients and business owners. I know how to be effective for my clients in the New York court system. As a native New Yorker, I understand the values that resonate with the decision makers; I speak the language of the courts. I have the skill to provide my clients with the insight they need to get the best possible outcome in the divorce process.

Methods of Marital Property Distribution

The New York legislature has provided 14 main statutory factors for the court to consider to aid in the equitable division of assets between divorcing spouses. Some of the most important of these factors include:

  • Income of the spouses: Although it is not always the case, as a general rule the spouse who has less income is likely to get a greater share of the marital assets than the spouse who makes more.
  • Future earning capacity: Even if one spouse has a lower annual income at the time of the divorce, the court could find that spouse to have a higher potential for future income and adjust the equitable division of assets accordingly. Ownership of a lucrative business, and advanced education and training are some of the things that the court considers when assessing future earning capacity.
  • Length of the marriage: Although equitable distribution is not necessarily equal distribution, that outcome can become more likely in a lengthy marriage, especially in which there are children. For shorter marriages, the court will often, but not always, seek to accommodate the competing interests.
  • Tax consequences: Every decision made by the spouses in a divorce will result in tax consequences. Especially in the case of high net worth divorces, these tax consequences can present challenges of knowing how to identify potential problems to bring to the attention of a tax professional.
  • Business valuation: If one spouse started a business and ran it during the marriage, whether that spouse is the husband or the wife, the court will recognize that it is important to enable that business to succeed after the divorce.

When you begin divorce proceedings, you are initiating what may prove to be a significantly stressful event in your life. As a New York divorce attorney with more than 35 years of experience, I know these property division factors well. I am well-versed with the New York court system, and I can help you to predict and consider the possible outcome of decisions you may be considering. At the Robert G. Smith, PLLC law firm, I have been down this road before. I will provide you with valuable counsel as you proceed.

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