During a divorce, the separating parties can agree to divide their marital assets or a judge may write an order subjecting these assets to division. Marital assets include residences, assets, pension plans or anything else earned or purchased during the marriage. After divorce, these are typically subject to an equitable distribution between the spouses.

Recently, according to the New York Law Journal, a man appealed a decision regarding this equitable distribution of marital assets to the New York State Appellate Division. In the case, the man also objected to the amount of spousal maintenance or alimony, awarded to his wife. Spousal maintenance is awarded to ensure that a spouse can afford to live independently. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision stating it followed the laws and its analysis was proper.

However, the appellate court did not agree with the lower court’s decisions regarding the equitable distribution of the wife’s pension and other retirement benefits. The higher court reasoned that since these benefits were earned during the marriage, they needed to be considered marital property and should be subject to division even though they would both be paid out after the divorce. The court also found that the wife’s pension was not properly valued because the lower court did not choose an appropriate date to find the value of the pension. Pensions change in value over time. The court sent that part of the decision back to the lower court to be revised. It also decided to reverse part of the lower court’s decision on legal fees. It found there was not a proper claim.

If you are considering divorce, then you should consult with an experienced attorney to make sure your assets are properly protected. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY lawyer with over 31 years of experience practicing law. He offers free in person consultations. If you would like to set up a confidential appointment, then call 718-514-6619. Mr. Lutzky also handles family court cases. To learn more about the lawyer, then visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.