Understanding your finances is the first step in equitable property distribution.
The concept of “Equitable Distribution” sounds straight-forward but often it isn’t.
Marital property is distributed “equitably,” not “equally” in divorce. This often leads to disputes over the meaning of equitable. Before property can be divided, however, you must determine what is included as marital property and how much it is worth. Some types of property can be harder to value than others. People think only of real estate property. They forget other assets such as cars, stock and investment accounts, and antique collections. Our attorneys’ strong business background and our firm’s experience in handling intricate financial issues uniquely positions us to help you distribute assets fairly without devaluing or unduly taxing their value.
When you acquired the property matters.
When a divorce occurs, property is put into two categories: separate property and marital property. Knowing when an asset was acquired, helps to avoid the misclassification of separate property assets as marital property (which makes them subject to distribution).
- Separate property is property that is either acquired before the parties’ wedding date or through inheritance during the marriage. Absent specific circumstances, separate property exclusively belongs to the spouse owning the property.
- Marital property is property that is acquired after the parties’ wedding date. When a couple divorces, most, if not all, marital property is divided between the parties. This can create complications when the property includes:
- complex and closely held private companies
- real estate
- family businesses
- financial services firms
- stock options
- restricted stock units
- deferred compensation plans
- trusts and deferred tax-planning strategies
Let’s talk about your concerns regarding your asset base in the event of divorce.
Our broad expertise and extensive experience with all types of assets enables us to be strong negotiators on your behalf. We are skilled at working with you to determine how to divide your property fairly and with as minimal an overall financial impact as possible.We seek to find the best solutions for clients who want to move forward in their lives. Please contact our office to learn how we can help you resolve your property disputes, so you can put your divorce behind you.
Case Study: Inherited money
Facts: Judy inherited $2.5 million from her mother and deposited it in a separate bank account. Periodically she withdrew money which she deposited…
Case Study: Marital assets
Facts: Sam, an employee of a major national corporation, had a retirement account through the company which he opened five years…
“I’d highly recommend Ken for anyone going through a divorce. Ken and his associates gracefully handled my divorce, which included a long list of complex assets, with a gentle yet firm hand that helped avoid confrontation. The result two years later, I have good relations with my ex-wife because we avoided litigation, which also would have been a tremendous waste of money.”