Rochester Divorce Attorney Negotiates Fair Terms for Division of Property
Applying Christian principles to New York’s law of equitable distribution
When you are going through a divorce, your future financial security depends greatly on your property settlement. New York is an equitable distribution state, which means you must divide your assets and debts in a manner that is fair, but not necessarily equal. Of course, what may seem fair to you may not seem fair to your spouse and vice versa, and if the two of you cannot come to a negotiated agreement, you must put the question to the judge. The prospect of a judge’s adverse decision often motivates couples to work conscientiously toward a fair settlement. But without knowledgeable advice from an experienced attorney, negotiations can fail, and your divorce can drag out as you fight over the silverware. To save time, stress and expense, trust your divorce to the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. We guard your property rights while working toward a mutually beneficial settlement so you can get on with your life.
How equitable distribution works in New York State
In a New York divorce, the equitable distribution process comprises these main steps:
- Identification/categorization — The couple takes inventory of all assets and debts and determines which are separate property (owned by one of the spouses) and which are marital (subject to the equitable distribution process). Generally, separate property consists of assets and debt accumulated prior to the marriage and after a legal separation, as well as gifts and inheritances to one of the spouses during the course of the marriage.
- Valuation of the marital estate — A price must be placed on every item in the marital estate. Some items, such as bank accounts, are obvious on their face, but other items, such as real estate, jewelry, fine art, vehicles and even pets, must be appraised. When appraisals are necessary, couples can often save time and money by agreeing to abide by one expert’s assessment rather than hiring dueling appraisers.
- Distribution — Once the parties know the total value of the marital estate, they must decide who gets what and how much. Sentiment often plays as much of a role as reason, but on the whole, couples should strive for a fair division based on the same statutory factors the court uses to allocate assets and debt. The assistance of an experienced attorney who knows how judges decide these matters is vital to any negotiated solution. For most couples, the family home is the greatest asset, and often there is not enough wealth to offset the award of the home to one spouse with assets to the other. Further complicating the matter, many divorcing couples have young children who benefit from the stability of remaining in the home they’ve known. Such matters require patience and creativity to arrive at a fair solution.
In addition to alimony and child support, property division is an important issue for your future financial security. Negotiation and family law mediation are often effective methods for resolving property disputes. However, there are some matters that simply must go to trial. If your property issues must be heard in court, you can trust the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. to fight aggressively for your rights.
Contact our faith-based family law practice in Rochester to resolve your property disputes
The Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. in Rochester practices divorce law with a Christian sensibility. In property disputes, we seek to protect your rights while mitigating the stress of the process. Mention our website when you call us at 585-563-1134 or when you contact us online and receive a free 30-minute initial consultation.