When you and your spouse decide to split up, you may not have much insight into the process. A commonly divisive issue that comes along with it is how you and your spouse will divide finances.
The court prefers spouses to compromise, but that cannot always happen. As such, the state’s laws dictate how a judge will do things should it come down to it. Gain a basic understanding of how a judge may rule when it comes to who gets what.
What does equitable mean?
Under New York law, divorcing couples should equitably divide their property. While this sounds like it means equal, that is not the case. An equitable split is one that the court deems fair after weighing your and your spouse’s many contributions to the marriage. This may mean that one spouse gets more in a divorce than the other for many reasons.
What does the court consider a contribution?
So, what does the court look at when deciding who contributed what? While judges will want to look at income and the financial aspects of what each spouse brought, it does not end there. In an equitable split, the judge also examines situations including:
- Who bears more responsibility for the end of the relationship?
- Who stayed home to raise children?
- Who has more separate property?
- Who may need time to get income up after divorce?
It is worth noting that debt divides along the same lines as property and assets do.
If at all possible, you may want to try and work things out before a judge steps in. This keeps you and your spouse in control rather than allowing a third party to dictate your future.