Divorce is a stressful experience, and it affects your mindset, emotions and even your physical condition. Tumultuous divorces are especially tiring, and you may be tempted to simply give up to yo
ur spouse’s demands just to bring an end to the process. This is often a serious mistake – creating turmoil in the divorce process is actually a tactic your spouse can use to steal away important assets. Williamson, Clune & Stevens, divorce lawyers in Ithaca and Syracuse, can help you pick your battles and make better choices.
Thinking Long-Term About Your Assets
Williamson, Clune & Stevens experienced matrimonial attorneys in Ithaca, Syracuse and Cortland, NY know that arguing, demanding and causing strife can be a strategic play to win the choicest assets in a divorce, and it works when you are so aggravated that you are only thinking about relief in the short term. A seasoned divorce attorney from Williamson, Clune & Stevens can guide you through this often-difficult process while helping you preserve notable assets that are important for your future.
Some of these assets can include:
Your Primary Residence
This is likely the largest asset belonging to you both and it can become a significant bone of contention. However, if children are in the mix, custody decisions may also have a bearing on which spouse should keep the home as their primary residence. But there are also the expenses for upkeep to consider and who will be responsible for paying those. It is best to discuss this at length with your attorney and settle on the best possible solution. This may be selling the home and dividing the proceeds equally.
Unless this property is other real estate, most personal property has more emotional value than real monetary value (unless you and your spouse jointly own expensive artwork, antiques or other valuables). Such property is often not worth the cost of squabbling over and is better discussed and divided amicably. Don’t use special items as weapons against your spouse – it could cost you more in court and legal fees.
If you and your spouse jointly own a business, the court will often determine the fair market value to allow one spouse to purchase the shares of the other. You should note that it is often in your best interests to sacrifice other assets in order to keep your business, especially if it is your primary means of income. You should do everything possible to maintain control of your business.
It is worth noting that over time, retirement assets can become worth more than any of your other marital property, so it is worth negotiating for your fair share. Federal law has a say into how some retirement plans can be divided, while state laws govern other plans. You will definitely need the professional expertise of a law firm in Ithaca, Syracuse, Elmira and Binghamton to divide these assets legally and equitably.
Legal Considerations When Dividing Assets
The laws of the State of New York should be consulted at length when seeking to divide your assets in a divorce. Many states, like New York, define equitable distribution as more than just a half-and-half division. The court decides what is “fair” according to certain guidelines that are applied to each marital situation.
After considering the length of the marriage, your ages and health, and other factors, the court may decide that “fair” is far different than 50/50. Williamson, Clune & Stevens, divorce lawyers in Ithaca, Elmira, Binghamton and Syracuse, can help you navigate the rocks and shoals of dividing up your assets during a divorce, and shield you from tactics that seek to force you into surrendering too much.