Marital and Separate Property
Equitable distribution is the term used in New York to describe the division of assets in a divorce. The law recognizes two types of property…marital property and separate property. The identification, classification and distribution of these assets require experienced representation that understands the complex laws that govern the process.
The first step in any divorce is the identification of assets. The lawyers at Quatela Chimeri help our clients to complete the discovery process or the process of identifying and quantifying the assets that are held by the parties to the divorce. Our lawyers then use our experience and familiarity with the law to classify those assets into either marital property or separate property.
Separate property, generally, includes inheritances, gifts, personal injury awards, and assets held by a party before the marriage. Marital property encompasses just about everything else. Understanding these rights, and how the different assets held by parties are to be classified is one of the most essential factors in ensuring that clients receive a fair and desirable result in their divorce settlement.
Finally, the process of distributing assets takes place. Generally, the spouse who owns separate property will retain that property following the divorce. Marital property is then equitably, and in many cases, equally divided. Understanding client goals, expectations and desired outcomes provides nuances in the distribution of assets. For example, an asset may be of more value to one spouse than the other, which allows for negotiation in order to achieve a goal. Understanding goals and desires and developing a plan to achieve them is the hallmark of Quatela Chimeri. Our clients, with estates both, large and small, simple, and complex, appreciate the true partnership that our attorneys develop with them in furthering their goals.
Marital property includes but is not limited to:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Stock portfolios
- Retirement benefits
- Life insurance policies
- Business interest
- Intellectual property