Property Division Lawyer Heidi Opinsky for Divorce in New York & Connecticut
Divorce in New York and Connecticut can be complex. One of the most contentious parts of any divorce is the equitable distribution of property, in which the court strives to divide assets and liabilities fairly and equitably. When the divorce involves a moderate to high net worth couple, distribution can be highly complicated by the different types of assets, the valuation of the property and the difficulty of ensuring fairness when assets may mature at different times. For Fairfield County attorney Heidi E. Opinsky and her divorce firm team of legal professionals, protecting your Fairfield County property as well as your legal and financial interests is their bottom line, especially when significant income and assets are at stake.
Legal Guidance For Divorce in New York and Fairfield County
Connecticut and New York apply equitable distribution methodology to the division of property and assets, as opposed to being community property states. Although there are some differences in the laws of the two states, the underlying tenets of property distribution are the same. It is important to note that “equitable” does not mean “equal” ― courts have discretion to unevenly allocate assets in the interest of fairness. Courts will consider the following before issuing a determination regarding property division:
- How long the parties were married
- The reasons for the divorce
- The age and health of each party
- The socioeconomic standing of the parties
- Each person’s career, income and education
- Each person’s ability to generate income and revenue moving forward
- The contributions of the parties in building the net worth of the couple as well as their own property
One of the big distinctions between Connecticut and New York law is that New York recognizes separate property, which is property that belongs to one party and was never brought into the marital estate, thereby excluding it from equitable distribution. Conversely, Connecticut courts have discretion to divide all property, whether separate or not. However, Connecticut will consider how the property was acquired in its determination of a fair distribution, while New York considers the active appreciation in value of separate property by way of contributions made to that appreciation by a party as part of the marital estate. For many couples, a well-drafted prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will have addressed the issue of separate property to avoid any confusion. These agreements are enforceable in both Connecticut and New York.
In moderate to high net worth divorce, it often is necessary to bring valuation experts into the case to ensure accuracy. Heidi E. Opinsky works with a team of experts to evaluate closely held businesses, partnerships, limited partnerships, stock options, restricted stock and hedge funds (by expert forensic accountants), real estate (by commercial and residential appraisers), pensions, 401(k)s and retirement plans (by actuaries), and other valuable antiques, artwork, collections and jewelry. These experts work with Ms. Opinsky to determine reasonable values for the property for the purposes of obtaining a strategic edge during settlement negotiations. They also provide expert courtroom testimony as the court determines how to distribute assets and property between parties.
Understanding Equitable Distribution
Equitable distribution refers to the way that courts in most U.S. states divide property between two divorcing spouses. Both New York and Connecticut utilize equitable distribution, however, how each of these states go about dividing property differs between the two. Understanding equitable distribution before pulling the trigger on getting a divorce is important. Click the links below to learn more about equitable distribution and how it differs between Connecticut and New York.
Navigating The Complexities Of Moderate And High-Asset Divorces
There are no quick solutions in a contested divorce involving a moderate to high net worth couple. It is critically important to take the time to get every aspect right to ensure that each party receives the property and assets that he or she deserves. Lawyer Heidi E. Opinsky divorce firm, understands how to accomplish fair and equitable division of assets between parties.
You can reach Ms. Opinsky online or by calling 203-653-3542. With offices in both New York City and Stamford, Connecticut, she assists clients throughout Greater New York and the surrounding areas, including Westchester and Fairfield counties.