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Property Division
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In planning for your divorce, a look at the retirement accounts will typically show that these funds represent a good portion of a couple’s assets and savings.
So many of my clients have told me, “I get half of everything right?”, or “Everything we own is community property”. Well this is an often mistake that people believe in New York. New York is an equitable distribution state when dividing property during divorce. What does that mean?
Marriage is an economic partnership. Normally any asset acquired during the marriage, measured from the day you get married until the day one party files a Summons for Divorce, is considered marital property. In a divorce the Supreme Court Judge will equitably distribute marital property.
When two tenants that own a house together get married, they usually modify the deed to "tenants by the entirety" so that each one’s spouse receives the other half of the house if the spouse should pass away.
The Equitable Distribution Law empowers the court to divide all property, both real and personal, acquired during the marriage (marital property) by either or both parties in an equitable (fair) manner regardless of the form in which title is held, according to the needs and circumstances of the parties.
One of the biggest marital property assets divided in a divorce is the pension. Pension plans (also known as Retirement Plans) fall under two categories: Qualified and non-qualified.
The income and property of each party at the time of the marriage, and at the time of the filing for divorce. The judge should look at each spouses capacity to earn money and property at the time of the marriage and compare it to the situation currently.
After determining that a couple wishes to obtain a divorce, one of the major issues that will be encountered is how to divide the property acquired during the marital relationship. This process is defined by the courts as equitable distribution.
Once a divorce is granted the Equitable Distribution Law requires a winding up of the economic affairs of the marriage through equitable distribution of the marital property.
The purpose of this article is to give a brief overview of the concept of marital and separate property under Section 236B of the Domestic Relations Law of New York, commonly referred to as the Equitable Distribution Law. This article is not intended to be a definitive treatise on all of the law in New York concerning property distribution upon a dissolution of a marriage.
Effective July 19, 1980, New York joined the ranks of many other states and became an equitable distribution state. The new law, known as the "Equitable Distribution Law", is actually an amendment to S236 of the Domestic Relations Law and, among other things, changes the concept of property and distribution of property upon dissolution of a marriage.

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New York does not automatically give custody of children to any one parent. In deciding custody, the court only considers what is in the best interest of the child. It considers who gave primary care during the marriage, scheduled doctors' appointments, and attended school meetings. Generally, the court allows the non-custodial parent ample visitation with the child and even awards joint custody. Visitation is often only limited in circumstances where there is abuse.

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