What factors will the court consider in Equitable Distribution?

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Courts in New York will consider a variety of factors. Actually, the wide discretion afforded to courts in this regard makes it very important to first try and reach an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. As you will soon see, the court has the authority to weigh so many factors that one could, perhaps not unfairly conclude, that the court can pretty much do whatever it sees fit. While this point could be described as cynical, it is nevertheless imperative to, first, try to work out an agreement that benefits both parties.

If such an agreement is not possible and a war is unavoidable, then let your attorney argue on your behalf that property is marital vs. separate based on the following factors:
• income and property of husband and wife at the time the parties married and when they filed for divorce
• length of marriage
• spouse’s age and health
• need of the parent with custody to live in the family home and use or own the furniture and so on.
• Valued at the time of the divorce, the pension, health insurance, and inheritance rights either spouse will lose because of the divorce
• whether spousal maintenance (alimony) was awarded
• If either spouse has an equitable claim to marital property to which that spouse does not have title, based on that spouse’s contribution of labor, money, or efforts as a spouse, parent, wage earner, or homemaker, including contributions to the other spouse’s earning potential
• the liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property
• the likely future financial prospects of each spouse
• if the marital property includes a component or interest in a business, corporation, or profession, the difficulty of valuing that interest and whether it would be desirable for that interest to be retained intact, free from claims or interference by the other spouse
• the tax consequences to each spouse
• whether either spouse has wastefully dissipated marital assets
• whether either spouse has transferred or encumbered marital property in contemplation of divorce without fair consideration, and
• any other factor the court expressly finds to be a just and proper consideration.

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