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How property is divided in divorce

Divorce can be a difficult realization for millions of people, even for those who are exiting a strong marriage. There are times when people realize marriage isn't for them or that they no longer want to be married to each other. Here's a brief discussion on how property is divided in divorce.

The state of New York operates under the rule of equitable distribution, which means that all the marital property will be divided equally among the divorcing couple. This is done by a judge, who will make the determination based on the earning power of each spouse, how long the marriage lasted and who earned the property being divided.

So, who gets to keep the family home in divorce? The family home typically stays with the spouse who has custody of the children once the divorce goes final. In order to make this fair for the divorcing couple, the other spouse will receive higher values of other assets to equal it all out. Should there be no children in the marriage, the court has a very difficult decision to make regarding the house. There really is not legal right for either partner to ask the other to vacate the house, even though they technically can do so.

It is possible for a divorcing couple to come to an agreement on their own about how the marital property will be divided in divorce. If this happens, the couple can avoid going to court and appearing in front of a judge. Any agreement between you and your spouse should be done so with the help of a family law attorney.

If the couple cannot come to an agreement themselves, they will be forced to appear in front of a judge who will hear both sides and then make a decision about property division.

If you are headed for a divorce, it's best to speak with a divorce attorney in Suffolk County about your situation and property division.

Source: FindLaw, "The Findlaw Guide to Divorce and Property Division," accessed May 19, 2017

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