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Staten Island Appraisal and Division of Marital Assets

Property Division Lawyer Staten Island, New York – Erin K. Colgan, P.C.

Appraisal and Division of Marital AssetsOne of the most challenging aspects of divorce is agreeing on the division of assets and property. If you do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, a New York court determines how your marital assets and debt are divided. So, how do you walk away from divorce feeling confident you received what is fair? 

At Erin K. Colgan, P.C., our team is prepared to help you determine your divorce strategy. We have nearly 20 years of legal experience managing family law cases and are known for our no-nonsense approach and ability to tailor our service to the type of divorce that best suits your needs, including mediation. We will work with you to protect your interests and seek the most favorable outcome possible for you and your family.

Divorce can be an emotionally overwhelming time. We aim to offer you the holistic support and legal advice you need to achieve a smooth and fair transition to your post-divorce life. If you are ready to discuss your situation, call the skilled Staten Island team at Erin K. Colgan, P.C. today at 718-981-5505 or reach out via our online system. Your consultation is confidential and discreet.

FAQ About Divorce and Property Rights Staten Island

At Erin K. Colgan, P.C., we often field questions about the division of marital assets and debts. In New York, the process is governed by the principle of equitable distribution. This doesn’t mean a 50/50 split but rather a fair division based on several factors, including:

  • Duration of the Marriage: Longer marriages may see a more even split of assets.
  • Income and Property of Each Party: This includes earnings capacity and financial contributions to the marriage.
  • Future Financial Circumstances: Anticipated needs post-divorce can influence asset division.

As experienced Staten Island divorce lawyers, we work to ensure that the division is balanced and reflective of your specific circumstances, advocating for your interests throughout the process.

Understanding the distinction between separate and marital property is crucial in divorce proceedings. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Separate Property: This includes assets acquired before marriage, personal gifts, inheritances received solely by one spouse, and compensation for personal injuries.
  • Marital Property: Generally, this covers all assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage.

Our team at Erin K. Colgan, P.C., skilled in divorce law, can help you identify which assets fall into each category and guide you through the complex nuances of property division.

Many clients are concerned about the fate of inheritances or gifts they received during the marriage. Typically, these assets remain your separate property, provided they are kept distinct from marital funds. However, there are exceptions:

  • Commingling of Assets: If inheritance money was mixed with marital funds, it might be considered marital property.
  • Increase in Value: If a separate property appreciates in value due to marital effort or investment, that increase may be subject to division.

Our Staten Island divorce attorneys can help protect your interests, ensuring that your separate property is clearly defined and safeguarded during the divorce process.

The timeframe for dividing property in a divorce can vary widely depending on several factors:

  • Complexity of Assets: More diverse or extensive assets typically require more time to evaluate and divide.
  • Agreement Between Spouses: Cooperative negotiations can expedite the process, whereas disputes may prolong it.

As your Staten Island property division lawyer, Erin K. Colgan, P.C., is committed to making this process as swift and fair as possible, employing our expertise to facilitate a smoother transition.

A divorce lawyer plays a pivotal role in the property division process by:

  • Navigating Legal Complexities: Our Staten Island divorce lawyers understand the intricacies of divorce law and use this knowledge to their advantage.
  • Negotiating on Your Behalf: Our skilled negotiators strive to secure a favorable outcome that respects your rights and future needs.
  • Ensuring Compliance and Fairness: Our property division lawyers oversee the legal steps required to ensure that all agreements are enforceable and equitable.

As your family law firm, Erin K. Colgan, P.C. is dedicated to supporting you through these challenging times with compassionate and competent legal representation.

Areas We Serve - Divorce and Property Rights Staten Island

Understanding Marital Asset Division in Divorces - Richmond County Family Law Attorney

New York Equitable Distribution of Property

Divorce statutes vary from state to state. New York subscribes to the equitable division of marital property model. Equitable distribution means all property, assets, and debts acquired during the marriage are subject to fair and equitable division between each spouse.

Equitable distribution in Staten Island means fair but not necessarily equal. Dividing assets equitability does not always mean an equal 50-50 split. A judge will consider several factors before determining how to divide marital assets. Some of the factors a judge may consider that can impact how assets are divided can include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The current and future financial needs of each spouse
  • The income and income potential of each spouse
  • Financial contributions of each spouse to the marital property
  • The household contributions of each spouse
  • Age, health, and medical needs of each spouse
  • Which spouse has primary custody of minor children
  • Marital conduct

How do these factors influence the division or assets? Consider this example. A partner gives up their career to be a stay-at-home parent. This individual may find it challenging to reenter the job market and earn an income. In an equitable distribution state like New York, a judge may award a higher portion of the couple’s assets to the stay-at-home parent for their contributions to the household and to account for the financial earning discrepancy between partners.

The court can only divide marital assets between spouses. Assets or property a partner gains before marriage may be considered separate property and are not subject to division during a divorce. Likewise, an inheritance from a family member may also be legally separate property and yours to keep post-divorce if you don’t co-mingle the assets.

Divorce Asset Appraisal Methods New York

How are Marital Assets Appraised? When you file for divorce in New York, the court will set a date for you and your spouse to submit the value of your assets. Properly assessing the value of your marital property and assets can be time-consuming and challenging.

Calculating the value of your property is more complicated than totaling the amount of money you share in your bank accounts. Real estate, property, cash, pensions, insurance benefits, and business holdings can all play a role in determining the total value of your marital assets. Generally, there are three approaches to calculating value.

The Market Value Approach

The market value approach to appraising the value of your assets tends to be the most straightforward. Essentially, you ask the question: what would a buyer be willing to pay for this asset? The answer is the fair market value.

Real estate investors tend to use this method when appraising the value of a home or piece of property. Investors can also rely on “comps.” Comps or comparables is a term that refers to gathering and comparing the sale price of similar homes or assets to yours. With comps in hand, you have a better understanding of the potential value of your property.

Income-Based Valuation

Dividing business assets can be even more complicated and requires taking an income-based valuation approach, meaning the value of your business is based on estimates of future cash flow. An evaluator can determine the business’s income, costs, future capital expenditures, revenue growth, and taxes. This information helps to determine a fair value for shareholders and does not require comps. Our firm regularly represents small business owners or their spouses and understands their unique needs and this evaluation approach.

Asset-Based Valuation

In an asset-based valuation approach, the value of an asset is determined by looking at a business’s assets and subtracting its liabilities. Sometimes this approach is also used to estimate the value of intangible assets such as intellectual property.

Never attempt to estimate the value of your marital assets alone. The process can be complex, and one mistake could jeopardize your chance of receiving what’s fair. If you have questions about the appraisal of your marital assets and property, talk to a knowledgeable Staten Island divorce lawyer.

Unlike most other family law firms, Erin K. Colgan, P.C. offers the services of pension valuations and prepares Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (“QDROs”) which are necessary for couples that divide pension or retirement benefits (e.g., 401 (k)) during divorce. To learn more, click here.

Why You Need an Experienced Divorce Lawyer on Your Side

Navigating the terms of a divorce is never easy. You may feel emotionally and financially vulnerable. Yet, with the support of a skilled Staten Island divorce attorney, you don’t have to weather the storm alone.

Erin K. Colgan is a former Richmond County prosecutor with nearly 20 years of experience helping Staten Island residents divorce. Our team approaches each case strategically, with compassion, sensitivity, and responsiveness. You deserve an attorney who will fight for what’s fair and protect your best interests. At Erin K. Colgan, P.C., you will find solid legal advice and peace of mind.

Get Help With Skilled Property Division Attorney in Your New York Divorce

Marriage is not transactional. Yet, you put your heart and soul into your relationship. When it is time to separate, you deserve fairness. At Erin K. Colgan, P.C., we want to help you resolve your divorce fairly and amicably. We will review your situation, estimate the value of your assets, and work to achieve the most positive result possible.

If you are ready to act on your divorce or wish to review your options, call our office today at 718-981-5505 to schedule a confidential consultation with Erin K. Colgan, P.C., Staten Island’s premier divorce attorney and certified mediator.

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