Understanding Equitable Distribution

New York uses the equitable distribution model in divorces. While this is fairer to each party, it is also more difficult for family law attorneys. Understanding the model and using NY matrimonial law software like EzSupport-NY allows divorce lawyers to prepare a settlement that will be difficult to challenge in court.

Some of the factors considered by a judge when determining equitable distribution are:

  • Income & Assets – Recent information is listed on the NY net worth statement but courts also consider the income and assets at the time of marriage.
  • Future Income – If a spouse has little or no income now but has the potential to secure a high paying job after leaving the marriage, then the court is less likely to award large settlements since that spouse can be self-sufficient quickly.
  • Duration of the Marriage – Longer marriages imply more of the assets are marital and therefore distributable.
  • Custody – If children are involved and one parent is given sole custody then that parent is more likely to be awarded the family home. This means other assets must be given to the non-custodial parent to balance the books.
  • Child Support – The value of support may affect the property division. Some parents prefer to waive support and receive a large property outlay up front, while others sacrifice short-term gains in return for a more generous child support settlement.
  • Liquidity – This is a challenging aspect of property division. A savings account can be easily divided. A vacation home cannot, especially if the home is in an area with a depressed real estate market and cannot be sold for a fair price.
  • Wasteful Dissipation – Family law courts and attorneys know all the games people play to hide or squander assets, and yet people still try to fool them. Deliberate dissipation will be viewed poorly by the court.
  • Anything Else – New York law allows courts to consider “Any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.” That is the wild card in divorce proceedings and can be a surprise even to experienced attorneys.

Smart family law attorneys know not to wait for the courts to decide. Understand the probable outcome of a case and back settlement offers with data supplied by EzSupport-NY NY child support software to increase the chance a settlement will be viewed favorably by the court. Give yourself the best chance for favorable outcomes by using EzSupport-NY by Easy Soft in your New York family law practice.