Suburban home

Under the equitable distribution law, property includes personal property such as bank accounts, cars, household furnishings, pensions and retirement accounts; real property such as houses, camps, or land; and intangible property such as an interest in a business, or the value of a professional degree or license.

Marital property is all property that was acquired between the date of your marriage and the date of the filing of a divorce action or the execution of a separation agreement.  It can also include an increase in the value of separate property if the increase occurred during the marriage and was due, in some part, to the efforts of the spouse who did not own the property.

Separate property includes all property acquired before your marriage or after the execution of a Separation Agreement or the commencement of a divorce action, as well as gifts that you received from someone other than your spouse, property that you received through an inheritance or money you received as a result of a personal injury settlement.

Marital debts include credit cards, bank and private loans, and other obligations incurred during the time you were married. Although it usually does not matter who incurred the debt, a spouse may not have a responsibility to repay a debt if the spouse who incurred it did so solely for his or her own interest. And if marital funds were used to repay separate debts, those funds may be recouped into the marital estate.

The statutory factors found in Domestic Relations Law section 236B(5) that are used to determine the equitable distribution of marital property include:

  1. the income and property of each party at the time of the 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;

    Devalued real estate balance sheet

  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 6 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;