We’ve all heard the unfortunate statistics regarding matrimony; too many marriages end in divorce. Regardless of the number of years you were married, you have likely accumulated valuable assets – property, car, bank accounts – as well as debt – credit cards, mortgage, etc.
When the time comes to divide your property, it’s extremely important to make sure you get everything you want and need, but that you aren’t forced to pay any debt you didn’t incur. Hiring a knowledgeable, experienced family lawyer like Jonathan D. Katz will give you the advantage you need at the negotiation table. Mr. Katz has been a successful lawyer representing families in Saugerties, Highland, Kingston, Olive and Rochester, NY for more than three decades. He has the skills and expertise to help you as you seek to equitably split assets and debt as part of your divorce settlement process.Who Gets What? Who Pays What? Learn About Equitable Distribution of Assets and Debts in Kingston & Highland New York
New York has specific laws when it comes to the division of marital assets and debts. You want to make sure you get what you are entitled to, while at the same time, you are not being forced to pay more than your fair share of accrued marital debt. Of course, there are times when certain items should remain with the spouse who brought them into the marriage – such as heirloom artwork or jewelry. Similarly, some debts shouldn’t be foisted on the spouse who had absolutely nothing to do with accumulating them.What is Equitable Distribution?
First things first: equitable does not necessarily mean equal. Equitable means fair – as in, each spouse gets their fair share of the marital assets and pays their fair share of the marital debts. After more than three decades of representing couples in divorce cases in Ulster County, NY, Mr. Katz can tell you that the family law judges here heavily consider certain factors when deciding how to divide assets and debts. He knows how to present information relating to each of the following factors so it will be assessed favorably on your behalf:
- Duration of the marriage
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Age, health, occupation of each spouse
- Amount and sources of income
- Needs of each spouse with relation to health and housing
- Vocational or educational skills as they relate to employability and the ability to earn a living
New York law states that everything brought into a marriage or accumulated during the time of the marriage are considered either separate or marital property. New York is not a community property state. Therefore, when a couple decides to get a divorce, assets must be valued and separated appropriately.
It must be determined if assets are considered marital property or if they are subject to “equitable distribution“. If they are they are subject to “equitable distribution.” This can get extremely complex, depending on the assets in question. Real estate is particularly difficult to divide, for obvious reasons. Marriages with high net assets definitely require the guidance of an experienced attorney like Jonathan D. Katz. He will work with financial consultants to make sure all assets are properly valued to ensure correct distribution between the divorcing spouses. Even the most complex financial estates can often be settled in skillful negotiation and arbitration.
If you live in Ulster County, NY and have a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement in place, dividing assets may be easier on you. A well-drafted pre- or post-nuptial agreement should outline who gets what in the case of divorce. However, not all documents are fool-proof. If your agreement was not carefully drafted or if it does not take into consideration all your assets, you will need a skilled divorce lawyer by your side.And, on the Other Hand – Equitable Division of Debt in Ulster County, NY
In most situations, unless you are financially fortunate enough to have high net assets, most divorce settlements involve distributing debt. The debt could be due to mortgages, car payments, student loans, investments or business loans, etc. Depending on the size of the debt, there may be a dispute between divorcing couples about who should pay what and how much. Debt qualifies as a liability and falls under New York’s equitable distribution doctrine.
If you are filing for divorce in Ulster County, NY, it’s important to meet with a qualified divorce lawyer who understands New York laws relating to equitable distribution of assets and debt in divorce. Jonathan D. Katz will sit down with you to get a better understanding of your personal financial situation.
If you believe your soon-to-be-ex accrued debt outside of the marriage – perhaps they have an overindulged shopping habit or have been funding “non-marital extracurricular activities” – I will fight to protect you from having to pay those debts.Call Today for a Consultation with an Experienced Ulster County, NY Divorce Lawyer
If you or someone you know is getting divorced in Highland, Saugerties, Kingston, New Paltz, Poughkeepsie, Woodstock or anywhere else in Ulster County, NY, talk to an attorney who is extremely knowledgeable about local divorce law with regard to equitable distribution of assets and debt. Put Mr. Katz’s knowledge of the Ulster County, NY Family Court system to work for you. Contact him today for a confidential free consultation at (845) 834-4747 or at toll-free (845) 255-7635. Or, fill out our convenient online contact form and request your no-obligation free consultation.