In a New York Divorce matter, personal property or “assets”, as they are know, as well as the debt or “liabilities” of the parties are divided in accordance with what is fair or “equitable” under the circumstances. This is known as Equitable Distribution. In considering what is fair, the Judge will consider the following statutory factors:
(1) the income and property of each party at the time of marriage, and at the time of the commencement of the action;
(2) the duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties;
(3) the need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects;
(4) the loss of inheritance and pension rights upon dissolution of the marriage as of the date of dissolution;
(5) the loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage;
(6) any award of maintenance under subdivision six of this part;
(7) any equitable claim to, interest in, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of such marital property by the party not having title, including joint efforts or expenditures and contributions and services as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party;
(8) the liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property;
(9) the probable future financial circumstances of each party;
(10) the impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation or profession, and the economic desirability of retaining such asset or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party;
(11) the tax consequences to each party;
(12) the wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse;
(13) any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration;
(14) any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.
In a litigated divorce, the parties would exchange voluminous documents known as a Sworn Statement of Net Worth. This is a sworn statement by each party detailing that party’s liabilities, income and budget. In mediation, the process is more streamlined with each party detailing a budget and financial statement and sharing information and documents during the mediation process.
It does not make sense to leave the distribution of your assets and liabilities to a third party who barely knows you, and often is presented with the worst version of you by the other side.
Make the decisions yourself as to what you should each walk away with after the dissolution of your marriage. It is your possessions…who better to decide?
If you agree with the above, call our office for a free consultation to find out why Mediation is Best.