Equitable Distribution Lawyer – Serving New York and New Jersey
Family Law Attorneys Handle Property Division in Rockland County and Bergen County
One of the most complicated and contentious aspects of a divorce is dividing property. A tremendous amount is at stake; the outcome will determine who will retain control of valuable real estate, residences and retirement funds accumulated during your marriage. Whether you and your spouse are heading into divorce anticipating a smooth process of agreement or a rough road of arguing, you need an experienced NY & NJ divorce attorney by your side to protect your rights and your future.
This may be your first divorce, but it certainly isn’t ours. Under the direction of divorce attorney Paul Goldhamer, the matrimonial law group at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman has decades of service, client focus, and a reputation for results which will allow you to move forward with your life after divorce.
Equitable distributions: How NY and NJ courts divide assets
When looking at assets, a divorce court in NY or NJ will distinguish between separate and marital property. Separate property remains the property of the spouse who brought it into the marriage, while marital assets are equitably divided by the court based on a number of factors. This is referred to as “equitable distribution.”
What is marital property v. separate property?
Marital property in New York and New Jersey includes most assets acquired during the marriage, but not all.
Separate property, on the other hand, includes property:
- Acquired before marriage
- That either spouse received as an individual gift or inheritance
- Designated as separate property in a valid prenuptial agreement
- Increased in value or separate property or new property bought with proceeds of separate property, as long as the other spouse did not contribute
- The result of a personal injury award to either spouse
Determining whether property is separate or marital is not always clear-cut. For example, if property would otherwise be separate, but it was held in a joint account, it could become marital. Individuals facing these questions in Bergen County or Rockland County should speak with a knowledgeable matrimonial attorney.
Understanding division of marital property
After it is determined what is separate property and what is marital property, the marital property must be split equitably. Rather than divide the property down the middle, the court will try to determine what kind of division is fair considering factors such as:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Age and health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s income
- What property each spouse brought into the marriage
- The amount and nature of the marital property
- Which spouse will be primary caregiver for the children
- Whether marital property includes an interest in a business
- How taxes will affect each spouse
- Whether either party engaged in wrongdoing such as attempting to hide property
The steps to reach an equitable distribution are far from simple. It is important to have a trusted ally like attorney Paul Goldhamer who understands the factors.
Is there any community property in NY or NJ?
Many clients wonder what role community property rules may play in their divorce. Since New York and New Jersey have both adopted equitable distribution, it does not play any.
In the nine states that have adopted community property rules instead of equitable distribution, any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is owned equally by each. Division of property can be simpler under community property rules, but it takes into account far fewer factors aimed at fairness.
How can a property division attorney help?
In some cases it is possible to reach an amicable property division settlement, but this can require skillful negotiation. If litigation is necessary, it is important to aggressively safeguard your interests in court. At KGG, we respond to the needs of the situation, working for a peaceful resolution where possible and vigilantly protecting your rights when it is not.
KGG lawyers are also there for you when the case takes an unexpected twist. We pursue exhaustive investigation of hidden assets belonging to a spouse who has been less than forthcoming. We untangle complicated issues with accounts. We protect inheritance or other assets that were not intended as marital assets. All our work, both behind the scenes and in a courtroom, is for the goal of getting you a fair and reasonable outcome.
What Property Can I Keep in Divorce?
KGG lawyers examine your total marital asset and property holdings picture. We aggressively advocate for your rightful share of:
- Vacation or rental property, including homes located overseas
- Commercial real estate
- Closely held businesses and business interests
- Bank accounts
- Motor vehicles
- Retirement funds and benefits
- Deferred income
- Stocks, stock options and bonds
- Gifts and inheritances
- Collections and memberships
- Awards from workers’ compensation, personal injury or medical malpractice claims
When facing issues related to division of assets, property and debts, the results have long-term impact. They are also complicated, especially the case in a divorce involving high net worth clients. KGG’s substantial litigation resources include experts whose findings can support you and your assertions to a judge and jury, ensuring you put your best case forward when it matters.
Consult a divorce attorney in Bergen County or Rockland County
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. has delivered large firm-quality expertise with small firm-quality caring for over four decades. We are proudly committed to serving individuals and families throughout Bergen County, Rockland County, and the surrounding New York and New Jersey communities.
If you are facing a division of marital assets, do not delay. The divorce lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. are ready to provide your initial consultation. Our proven legal leadership and client commitment is always tailored to your goals.
Additional Division of Marital Assets Resources:
- NY Courts, Divorce Resources: Glossary of Legal Terms, https://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/glossary.shtml
- Justia, 2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes Title 2A – Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice Section 2A:34-23.1 – Equitable distribution criteria, https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2013/title-2a/section-2a-34-23.1