New York Family Law and the Concept of Economic Partnerships
There are a lot of things to consider when you decide to get married. Although at its heard, marriage is a celebration of love - it's also a legal contract which requires you to share things like assets, and debt with your partner. This is why many people consider their potential spouse's financial situation carefully when they decide to get married. After all, it would be foolish not to think about this information in advance, given that most married couples are seen as people who volunteer to take part in an economic partnership, sharing in expenses and income alike. New York courts take the reality of the "economic partnership" side of marriage into account when they're asked to divide the debts and assets between a couple during a divorce proceeding.
As a New York divorce lawyer, Mr. Shapiro helps his clients to understand how the concept of an economic partnership works when they come to him in search of advice and guidance around the end of their marriage. Mr. Shapiro uses his extensive experience in the area to explain the concept of income, expenses, and how assets are shared between the people in an economic partnership. One of the topics that Mr. Shapiro will cover when discussing the concept of divorce with clients, is the idea of "equitable distribution". New York uses equitable distribution to divide assets and debts on the behalf of parties taking part of a divorce. This simply means that the court doesn't simply divide all assets 50/50 but looks at what they consider to be a "fair" division between both clients.Determining the Distribution of Assets
To distribute assets evenly between both of the economic partners within a divorce situation, the New York Court examines Domestic Relations Law article 13. Within this document, section 236 outlines the criteria that the courts use to fairly distribute assets between divorcing parties. The statute requires the New York courts to look at thirteen distinct factors to make their decision, including the age of each party, their income, the duration of the marriage, and the educational background of each party too. The courts also consider the various sacrifices that spouses made to benefit the other half of the economic partnership. The New York courts also have the right to consider any other factor that they believe to be important to the facts at hand.
As both a divorce attorney and an experienced practitioner of family law, Mr. Shapiro can help couples to understand what they should expect from the divorce proceedings when it comes to equitable distribution. When a married couple lives in the same home and shares the same expenses and income, the courts consider the relationship to be an "economic partnership". During these occasions, it's likely that the courts will decide to share assets depending on the factors listed above. However, if a couple separates, but they stay married, then the court may determine that an economic partnership doesn't exist. If the economic partnership isn't present, then this can have a significant impact on how the court chooses to divide assets between a couple - particularly the assets that were acquired when the couple weren't seen as being part of an economic partnership.Defining the Nature of Economic Partnerships
Sometimes, the easiest way to understand how a certain element of the divorce experience works is to look at previous cases that have taken place in New York and Long Island. For instance, in one recent case, the New York court described the equitable distribution system of the state and said that the economic success of a partnership depends on both the financial contributions the partners make and the nonremunerated services that take place in a marriage. In simple terms, if a couple acts as though they're taking part in an economic partnership, and the court can see this, then it's more likely that the court will decide to equitably distribute assets. On the other hand, if the spouses in a marriage have not been acting in an economic partnership, then the courts may choose to assign a dollar value to each of the spouse's contributions, and thus distribute assets according to the efforts of each spouse. Additionally, the courts will also consider forward-looking criteria too, such as the income-earning potential of a spouse.
If you're currently involved in the process of a New York or Long Island divorce, or you anticipate that you will be involved in a divorce in the coming months, then it may be worth reaching out to a dedicated divorce attorney in New York as quickly as possible. Mr. Shapiro's law agency and mediation office offers support to clients on various issues of family law, including child custody cases and divorce law. To find out more, please schedule your free consultation of up to thirty minutes with Mr. Shapiro by calling (516) 333-6555.