What Is Wife Entitled To In Divorce In NY

Last Updated on April 2024

If the wife is getting a divorce in New York State, the assets of the couple will be divided through equitable distribution. The wife may also seek spousal support and child support from the husband. Child custody is determined separately by evaluating what living situation is in the kids’ best interests. Both spouses have the right to argue for favorable asset distribution, alimony, and custody arrangements during the divorce proceedings.

What Are My Rights as a Wife in a Divorce in New York?

Regardless of gender, both spouses have the same rights and can count on certain benefits when terminating their marriage. Judges determine what is fair for each spouse in a particular case depending on specific factors and family situations.

For a more comprehensive understanding of a wife’s rights in a divorce, let’s take a closer look at each aspect that should be decided on during the marriage dissolution process.

Asset Division

During the divorce proceedings, one of the most significant conflicts of interest arises in the division of assets. If spouses cannot come to a consensus that satisfies both parties, the court will resolve the issue in accordance with NY law. As opposed to the community property states where marital assets should be divided equally, the New York courts focus on the equitable distribution principle. When splitting it up, the judge will consider the marriage length, the presence of minor kids, the health status of parties, their age, income, etc.

A cut dollar signifies the division of assets during a divorce.
Dividing assets in a NY divorce necessitates careful assessment of marital property, valuation, and equitable distribution.

Based on the current NY marital property law, all assets that spouses manage to accumulate during the marriage belong to the marital property. These may include bank accounts, vehicles, real estate, etc. Pensions and divorce in NY are also interrelated, and the funds accumulated in pension accounts during the marriage are also subject to distribution when splitting assets. As such, a wife can legitimately seek a reasonable share of her husband’s pension.

An exception to the general rule may be the conclusion of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement in which parties have determined a different proportion of property division in case of divorce.

Separate Property

All assets owned by spouses before registering a marriage are typically regarded as separate property in NY divorce. If some items were inherited or received as gifts, a wife will likely retain her ownership after the divorce.

Family figures who stand on either side of a divided home during a divorce.
Dividing separate property in a NY divorce requires meticulous documentation, legal analysis, and negotiation.

However, if the private asset is commingled with a joint asset, the property classification becomes vague, which may complicate its division. It can be the case when, for example, deciding who gets the house in a divorce in NY. If this property was in the possession of a wife before the marriage, and the husband did not make any material contribution to it during the marriage, the rights of a wife to the property are preserved after the divorce. Otherwise, the court should take into account the various considerations and factors of the case to determine an equitable property distribution.

Child Support

During a divorce, child support can be awarded to either a husband or a wife, depending on several circumstances. Most often, the payer of support will be the spouse who is not the custodial parent or the one with a significantly higher income.

According to child custody laws in NY, children have the right to be supported by their parents until they reach the age of 21. An exception may be the case when the child becomes self-sufficient earlier.

Father gives mother child support for their child.
Securing child support in NY involves providing evidence of the child’s financial needs and parental income.

The amount of child support in New York is computed according to a specific formula. To determine it, you need to calculate your net joint income and multiply it by the percentage provided by law for different numbers of children. It is 17% for one child, 25% for two, 29% for three, etc.

Then, you need to determine your proportional share by dividing the individual income by the combined one and calculate the amount of child support by multiplying the non-custodial parent’s percentage by the product of the combined income and the maintenance rate. You can try to figure out the amount of support yourself using the online calculator offered by the Unified Court System’s official website.

Spousal Support

When filing for marriage dissolution, either spouse can request to receive money from the other party during the divorce or after its finalization. It is called spousal support or maintenance.

In most cases, the court grants spousal support in New York to those parties who are unable to provide for themselves and need time and financial assistance to start earning on their own. Typically, they are spouses who manage the household and raise children for a considerable amount of time instead of pursuing a career.

Figures of parent and child next to alimony designation.
Obtaining spousal support in NY entails demonstrating financial need, marital contributions, and other relevant factors.

The court will take many factors into account when deciding whether and how much alimony is required. Their list consists of but is not limited to the following:

  • the level of income,
  • parties’ age and health,
  • marriage duration,
  • spouses’ employability,
  • standard of living during the marriage,
  • the proportion of asset division during a divorce, etc.

Child Custody

A wife can surely get custody of the kids since either husband or wife can be a custodial parent. The court decides the issue of child custody based on the best interests of the children.

The custody can be sole or joint. It is also divided into legal and physical; physical one defines who the kids will live with, while legal custody deals with the parent’s right to make significant decisions in children’s lives.

Figures of parents and children next to the child custody designation.
Securing child custody in NY involves careful consideration of parental fitness and the child’s best interests.

Custodial parents or parties who get sole custody will spend most of the time with the kids. The other parent will visit them and take part in their lives as determined by an agreement of spouses or a court decision. If child custody is joint and distributed proportionally, this means that both parents will participate in children’s lives equally.

The judge will appoint a custodian based on the children’s relations with both parents, their place of residence during a divorce, the ability of spouses to take care of their kids, etc.

To sum it up, when it comes to divorce in New York, the wife has the same rights and responsibilities as the husband. The division of property, alimony and child support terms, and child custody arrangements will depend on various circumstances, not gender.

Considering Filing for Divorce?

Start by creating a free account on our website to see if you qualify for an online divorce in New York. Prepare all the paperwork needed for filing an uncontested divorce online without lawyers.

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