New York Is An Equitable Distribution State


New York is an equitable distribution state. This does not mean that marital property is divided “equally” but “equitably”.  Equitable distribution allows a party in a divorce to seek a share of specific marital assets.  New York’s Equitable Distribution Law recognizes marriage as an economic as well as a social partnership. The law requires that a judge divide property as fairly as possible. The Equitable Distribution Law talks about two types of property for purposes of divorce: marital property and separate property.

In a matrimonial action, the court has the task of dividing the marital assets between the parties. Those assets include marital residence, other real estate, retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, automobiles, personal property, etc.

Marital assets are assets that belong to both parties, whereas separate property assets belong to only one of the parties.

An example of a marital asset is the home that is purchased by the parties during the marriage.  In addition any other asset purchased during the marriage with marital funds and/or marital obligations such as a mortgage.

Marital Property and Separate Property

Separate property is the property of just one of the parties. For instance, if a husband owns his own house at the time of the marriage, and doesn’t add his new spouse to the deed, that house is his separate property, and it is not considered marital in nature. However, if after the marriage marital funds are used to pay the mortgage on the house or to make significant repairs that increase the value of the house, the other spouse will be entitled to make a claim against the property for a credit or a portion of that property or seek a constructive trust.

The distinction between a marital asset and a separate property asset is not always clear-cut. That is why it’s important that you hire an experienced attorney such as Phillip J. Jusino is well-versed in this area of the law and he can advise you properly and fight for your rights, with a clear understanding of what you are entitled to.

The following are some of the most common questions my clients ask.

How does equitable distribution work in NY?

New York is an equitable distribution state, which means the court will divide marital property between spouses in a way that is equitable or fair. The court decides what’s fair based on a set of factors that show what each of you contributed to the marriage and what each spouse will need to move forward after divorce.

How are assets divided in a divorce in NY?

New York courts must divide the marital property “equitably.” That means fairly, considering the circumstances of the case and of the parties involved, but it does not necessarily mean “equally.” There is no statutory requirement for a 50/50 split of marital property.

What is the equitable distribution statute in NY?

New York is an “Equitable Distribution State” and upon the dissolution of a marriage, the Court must distribute “Equitably” (but not necessarily equally) all marital property, and determine each spouse’s right to his or her separate property.

What is a wife entitled to in a divorce in NY?

New York’s equitable distribution law specifies that you are entitled to a division of all “marital property” assets that were acquired during the marriage. With few exceptions, marital property generally includes both spouses’ income, purchases made with that income, and retirement benefits.

How much alimony does a wife get in NY?

For marriages from 0 to 15 years, it is 15-30% of the duration of the marriage. If you’ve got a 10-year marriage, it would be 1.5 to 3 years of maintenance. If you have a 15-20-year marriage, it is 30-40% of the duration of the marriage. And more than 20 years, it is 35-50% of the duration of the marriage

Is equitable distribution taxable in NY?

A transfer of property from one spouse to another as part of a divorce to a spouse or former spouse is a nontaxable event.

What is the equitable distribution of marital property in NY?

The Equitable Distribution Law talks about two types of property for purposes of divorce: marital property and separate property. Marital property will be divided between the two spouses. Marital Property: all property either spouse bought during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the property.

What assets are exempt from a lawsuit in NY?

The following kinds of personal property are exempt from the collection and cannot be seized by a Marshal: (1) household goods such as appliances, clothing, or furniture; (2) necessary medical equipment, like wheelchairs; (3) each of a cell phone, radio, computer, and television; (4) personal items such as art.

What is an example of an equitable distribution?

The following are examples of Equitable Distributions: Spouses receive an equitable ownership interest in the marital home. Spouses receive an equitable division of assets accrued during the marriage. Ex-spouse receives cash payment each month for support.

Contact Jusino Law Today For A Free Consultation

It is always advisable to get legal advice from an attorney of your own choosing when dealing with a divorce or Family Court matter. Your attorney’s initial primary function is to advise you on what is in your best interest now and in the future. What a friend may tell you from his or her experience, or what happens in a television show, is not necessarily in your best interests. An experienced attorney with a strong legal background in matrimonial and family law, such as Mr. Jusino, can better help you.

Do you need legal representation concerning a divorce or Family Court matter? I invite you to contact my office to set up a free consultation by calling 631-588-3155. We have been handling divorce and Family Court matters for over 33 years here on Long Island.  Check out Phil Jusino’s book about divorce and family law titled Divorce: A Practical Guide.  The book may be purchased on Amazon.com

About the Author

Phillip Jusino