What Does Equitable Distribution Mean?


Worried couple looking at their bills on the sofaThe term equitable distribution deals with a cornerstone concept in the area of divorce in New York State. One of the biggest misconceptions about equitable distribution is that it is not equal. It is not a guaranteed 50/50 distribution of assets. It is an equitable distribution of assets. Some cases, equity may demand a 50/50 split. There are other cases where we have seen the wife walk away with 72 or even 75 percent and the husband only leaves with the remaining 28 or 25 percent. There are other cases where the husband has had to pay only as little as 25 or 26{d7ad8d91dcbc6c5f909cae8a9a63c8e9cbd63938c628b2b59a791ba818aca75d}.

It is case and fact specific and therefore, it changes from case to case. What you should be made aware of is that it is not a 50/50 stake, and there are even chances for the spouse, either one, to walk away with 100{d7ad8d91dcbc6c5f909cae8a9a63c8e9cbd63938c628b2b59a791ba818aca75d} of the assets depending on the overall circumstances of the case. It is important not to go into any distribution of assets with any expectations because nothing is guaranteed in the equitable distribution process.

What needs to be taken into consideration during the equitable distribution law are the two types of property that can be owned. The first is called marital property and the second is called separate property. Marital property consists of any property that was acquired during the term of the marriage by either spouse. It is important to note that included in this marital property are any pensions or retirement plans that were acquired during the course of the marriage. On the other hand, separate property is any assets that were acquired by one of the spouses in the time before the marriage took place. Separate property also includes anything that that spouse may inherit or receive as a gift during the marriage, as long as it was not given to them by the spouse they are getting a divorce from.

If you are in need of legal counsel, please contact The Penichet Firm and we will be happy to assist you in your family and criminal law matters.