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Thinking about equitable distribution in divorce

Divorce is a difficult process, even if spouses remain compassionate towards each other. The end of a marriage is always easier when the people in it can solve any disagreements about how it will end quickly and smoothly.

The children of divorce who are not yet of adult age are always the first priority in a case, with judges and courts working for their best interests. All spouses, parents or not, have to figure out how to split up real estate, assets, money and other marital property.

New York law largely defines marital property as any assets and financial instruments that were acquired by the couple during the marriage. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can clarify or add to these categories, including retirement plans and interest earned on capital investments or artwork.

The Empire State is an "equitable-distribution" state, so judges in divorce cases heard on Long Island apply a doctrine of fairness more than aiming for a 50-50 split of all assets by value. A judge may rule that one spouse should receive more than half of an asset because it was fully earned by the person or has a specific need.

No spouse has a specific right to a shared house, but one may request to keep it. Some spouses choose to sell a property like a house and equitably split the proceeds.

A lawyer can help resolve issues by representing a spouse's interests through negotiations, mediations and hearings. Legal representation may be more likely to create a equitable outcome with which clients and other parties are satisfied.

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