I’ll take the Buick!
Living through a broken down marriage is nightmare enough but it sadly does not end there. What follows after the dreaded ‘D’ word depends on the personal circumstances of each couple and the jurisdiction in which they reside. In most cases however deciding how to ‘divvy up’ the marital assets, who gets what, who takes the house, the holiday pad, the cars, the golf clubs and the garden furniture becomes an issue. For high net worth individuals, divorce settlements run into millions in liquid cash and or assets.
Some couples are able to come to an amicable agreement over the division of their assets while others may not as fortunate. In either situation, the expert counsel of a family law attorney is essential to ensure that you do not end up holding the short end of the stick. The importance of having an astute lawyer on your side is heightened by the unique valuation of career as constituting marital asset in the State of New York. This means that one spouse’s future earnings may automatically be deemed as the ‘property’ of the other spouse by virtue of their marriage. For those who managed to gain a degree or other professional qualifications during their marriage, “enhanced earning capacity” comes into play and a share thereof will be awarded to the other spouse.
Apart from career, enhanced and future earnings, it is standard practice for every asset acquired or accumulated during the marriage to be regarded as marital property. The balancing aspect however is that marital liabilities are also divided between the spouses. There are also tax consequences involved in the distribution of marital property. We have seen a significant number of clients who prefer to sell the family property and share the proceeds as well as the liabilities. We however advice very strongly against vacating the marital property before finalising important issues related to the divorce and in particular the custody of the children, where applicable.The issues relating to distribution of marital property can be quite complex. Legal assistance and professional advice about martial property division is always advised, especially in the State of New York. So before you agree to ‘take the Buick darling’, find out exactly what else you may be entitled to; your spouse’s degree perhaps?