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An overview of marital property in New York

Marriage is no longer the best option for couples these days. Many young people are deciding to cohabitate instead of getting married. The divorce rate is high and many marriages are failing before they even get off and running. Marital property in New York can be tricky, but here is an overview of it should you and your spouse be headed for divorce.

When a couple heads for divorce in New York, their property will be divided equitably. In most cases, this will result in property being divided equally, but not 50/50. When property is divided equitably, it is done so when each spouse's contributions to the marriage is considered to be as fair as possible.

Before New York became an equitable property state, it operated under the common law property statute, which divided property during a divorce based on how property was owned by each party of the marriage.

The judge handling the divorce, and subsequent division of marital property, will take into consideration the following:

- The age and health of each spouse

- The length of the marriage

- The income and property ownership of each spouse when they married and then when they filed for divorce

- The need of the parent with child custody to live in the family's home

- If spousal support has been awarded

- Any inheritance, health insurance or pension the spouse will lose as a result of divorce

- The future financial possibilities of each spouse

- Tax consequences for each spouse

- If either spouse wastefully dissipated any assets from the marriage

Separate property is any property acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage or as an inheritance received separate from the other spouse. Separate property is also defined as any property outlined in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

An experienced family law attorney in New York can answer all of your questions and make the path to divorce easier for you.

Source: Findlaw, "Who Owns What in Marital Property?," accessed Feb. 01, 2017

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