Each spouse is entitled to what is known as an “equitable distribution” of marital assets.
There’s a little more complexity to that idea than you may realize. Equitable distribution doesn’t mean equal distribution, so while some divorces do result in roughly a 50-50% split of marital assets, the court itself isn’t looking for an even split, but one that is fair to both spouses.
If you are the higher earning spouse in a couple and your incomes are very different, you should expect that your spouse will ask for and receive some amount of spousal maintenance.
The terms of that can be negotiated. Some couples opt for a single lump sum payment, others set timelines so that job training or education can happen, and in other cases, open ended support can be instituted that will be modified only when a significant life change happens.
As for goods like property, debts, and savings, only marital assets – those acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage – will be distributed among the spouses.
If you or your spouse won a personal injury case or inherited funds or property during the marriage, those windfalls are counted as separate income and not subject to distribution.
To learn more about the particulars of your divorce and what may end up divided, call the attorneys at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino today at 718-523-1111 for a free consultation with a Queens divorce attorney.