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Property Division, Long Island, NY

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What is Equitable Distribution in a Long Island Divorce?

The division of marital property is perhaps the largest issue in most Long Island divorces. Courts on Long Island are governed by the laws of the State of New York, which provides guidelines for how marital property is to be divided during the divorce proceedings. These rules are known as Equitable Distribution.

Marital Property Is NOT Always Split 50/50

Simply put, New York courts use the equitable distribution doctrine in an attempt to divide marital property fairly and equitably. This does not always mean that each party receives 50 percent of the marital assets. Instead, the courts use many factors in order to determine the most fair and reasonable distribution of the marital property.

Motivated, caring and detail oriented are just some of the few personality traits that come to mind when I describe Rob. Going through a trying time in your life is not when you need the difficulties that come with an inexperienced, disorganized and uncaring attorney. Rob was none of those. Instead, he was a joy to work and made a difficult time less so through his kind and caring demeanor and attention to detail. His timely response and availability were supurb as well. I would, hands down, recommend Rob to anyone that needed someone to be a shining star through the dreary experience of a divorce!!!

What is Marital Property & How Do I Get My Fair Share?

Generally speaking, property acquired during the marriage is considered to be marital property. Marital property can include, but is not limited to:

  • cash
  • bank accounts
  • retirement accounts (such as pensions & 401-Ks)
  • securities
  • notes and mortgages held
  • stocks and stock options
  • contracts
  • broker’s accounts
  • business interests
  • accounts receivable
  • interest in trusts
  • real property
  • household furnishings
  • antiques & collectibles
  • jewelry
  • automobiles, motorcycles, boats, etc.
  • disability pensions
  • judgments held
  • causes of action at law
  • patents and trademarks owned
In order to determine how to calculate the distribution of property, Judges on Long Island consider factors such as:

  • the amount and sources of income at the time of divorce filing;
  • the property of each spouse at the time of divorce filing;
  • any pre-nuptial agreements;
  • duration of the marriage;
  • the age and health of each spouse;
  • who will be the custodial parent;
  • any alimony award;
  • the potential financial needs of each spouse;
  • the potential future earnings of each spouse; and
  • the amounts necessary for support, maintenance, education, and general welfare of the child or children

How Do Long Island Courts Decide Who Gets What?

The above is not an exhaustive list of factors, and every set of circumstances surrounding a divorce may vary. However, Long Island courts almost always take into account the needs and future needs of each party to the divorce, including current and future income and expenses. Earning potential of the spouses is given due consideration as well.

What Is Separate Property & Can I Keep My Own ‘Stuff’?

personal propertyCertain property may be considered “separate” property, and will not be subject to equitable distribution. For example, property that was acquired prior to the marriage, property acquired by inheritance, compensation for personal injury of one spouse, and, certain gifts given to one spouse may not be included in the equitable distribution of a marital estate. Furthermore, any property specifically agreed to be outside of the marital estate by a pre- or post-nuptial agreement will not be considered marital property for purposes of equitable distribution. However, exceptions may exist if a spouse can show that he or she contributed toward the appreciation of any of these “separate” assets.


What If My Spouse Cheated?

Generally speaking, Long Island courts consider the totality of the circumstances in determining the distribution of the marital estate. The courts generally do not consider marital misconduct or fault, and typically do not punish or reward either party, so if you thought you would get more of the assets of the marriage because your spouse was unfaithful, that’s usually not the case. However, if a party has acted in a way to intentionally destroy or depreciate the marital property in an attempt to deprive the other party of some benefit, this will be viewed unfavorably by the Court and will be given consideration when determining the apportionment of property.


How Do the Debts of One or Both Spouses Come Into Play?

debtMarital debts are often distributed in the same manner as marital assets. However, the distribution of the debts may be different in cases where one spouse has a significantly greater ability to pay, or one spouse is solely responsible for incurring the debt obligation, and incurred the debt for his or her exclusive benefit. In some instances, a debt is incurred by one party and only for the benefit of that party. Generally, any debts incurred during the marriage are considered marital debts, and are therefore subject to equitable distribution. The party who wishes to share the debt with his former spouse has the burden of proof as to why the debt was incurred and whether it was for the benefit of both parties.


How To Ensure Your Divorce Distribution is Equitable

As experienced Long Island Divorce attorneys, we can assist you in determining your property rights and negotiating for your best interests during your divorce. We will assess your rights and responsibilities in your divorce, and can help to ensure that you receive everything you are entitled to under New York State law. The Office of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. provides free consultations to discuss your options. Contact our friendly Client Services Director at 631-923-1910 to schedule yours.

For more information about Property Division in your divorce, visit our Complete Guide to Dividing Property in Divorce.

Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.

At your meeting, your attorney will evaluate your case and describe the many options available to you so we can determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

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Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.
Sam Berg
Sam Berg
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.


  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!



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