Distributing assets during a divorce can pose a challenge for some. While some assets, like a joint bank account or IRA, are simpler to divide, others can pose significant issues. Unfortunately, investments and stocks can be particularly challenging to divide, as many elements must be considered. When you’re unfamiliar with how to proceed, you may end up making an error that can cost you in the long run. If you’re going through a divorce, enlisting the assistance of a Nassau County property distribution lawyer is crucial to help you navigate these challenging instances.
How Does New York Distribute Assets?
New York follows the equitable distribution process when dividing property between divorcing spouses. This means assets are not divided evenly but rather based on how much each spouse contributed to the marriage throughout the union.
The assets divided only include marital assets or property and funds acquired after you are married or that have co-mingled with your marital assets. For example, you may have separate funds you had before you were married, but once you deposit them in a joint bank account, they become marital property.
If you had assets like funds or stocks before you were married, they are classified as separate property. Generally, this means you can retain ownership of the funds and will not have to split them with your spouse when divorcing.
Can Investments and Stocks Be Divided?
Generally, stocks and investments can and should be divided during a divorce if they are deemed marital property. If they were acquired during the marriage, they are considered joint assets.
To divide these assets, you’ll need to assign a value to the stock. This will depend on several elements, such as whether they are for publicly traded or private companies, whether or not the stocks are vested, and if they are stock options.
You should also determine whether or not the stocks have appreciated in value. If you and your spouse made the stocks appreciate, this value will be divided during the divorce, even if the initial stock is classified as separate property. However, if the market is the reason your stocks appreciated in value, the appreciation will remain as your own individual property.
You may also decide to sell the stock and divide its value between you and your spouse. However, this can have tax consequences, so many avoid this option.
When going through a divorce, dividing investments and stocks can be particularly challenging for many. As such, ensuring you enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney can ensure you retain the assets you are entitled to. At Barrows Levy, we understand how complex this can be. That’s why we’re dedicated to making this process as simple as possible so you can have peace of mind that your investments are protected. Contact us today to learn how we can guide you.