Equitable Distribution: How to Divide Your Assets & Debts in a Divorce

Dividing your assets and debts during a divorce can be a difficult, emotional and time-consuming activity. When there is a lot of fighting over particular items, some people just give up and allow everything they own to be granted to the other party “just to get it over with”, but this is hardly fair. It is understandable, though, given the emotional turmoil that can occur when you are going through a difficult divorce.

Everything that you obtained during your marriage – including your house, cars, checking and savings accounts, retirement plans, and furniture – to name a few,  are part of your marital property, as is credit card debt, the mortgage, school loans and other debt. Assets and liabilities are considered in the distribution, so that neither party is unduly burdened financially in an already emotionally trying period.

The law provides for an “equitable distribution” of marital property. That means that every asset or debt that you both acquired while married, with a few exceptions, is to be divided between you in a divorce. What is “equitable”, however, doesn’t necessarily mean “equal”, the goal is to divide marital property as fairly as possible. It is your responsibility to accurately report all debts and assets.

Coming to an agreement, rather than letting a judge decide can make matters much easier, which is one of the ways that a Long Island divorce mediator can help. Through mediation, we can help you to discuss and determine what the best division of marital property might look like for both of you, including presenting all the various options that might be available to you, rather than have your case go before a judge who may not distribute your property in a way that you would prefer.


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