Staten Island Appraisal and Division of Marital Assets
One 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 Colgan Law, 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 Colgan Law today at 718-981-5505, or reach out via our online system. Your consultation is confidential and discreet.
What Is Equitable Distribution?
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.
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.
Dividing business assets can be even more complicated and require 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 spouse, and understands their unique needs and this evaluation approach.
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 attorney.
Unlike most other family law firms, Erin Colgan Law 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 Attorney 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 Colgan Law, you will find solid legal advice and peace of mind.
Contact a Skilled Staten Island Divorce Attorney for Help
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 Colgan Law, 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, Esq., Staten Island’s premier divorce attorney and certified mediator.