Because New York’s equitable distribution policy, the division of assets such as ownership of a business, an inheritance, an investment portfolio or other assets may not be divided exactly equal. The policy is in place to ensure fairness in the process of the distribution of assets, and this can be more complex than just splitting the money received from selling the marital home. 

The different types of the assets, especially the ones listed above, as well as how much of the assets were acquired during the marriage/the nature of the acquisition, and how the assets have been held or treated during the marriage serve as the more influential factors in deciding how to fairly divide the assets.  

How do I go about protecting these assets?

Along with retaining legal representation, high net worth individuals may find it very beneficial to seek advice from a skilled and experienced financial advisor and planner. If this individual owns a business or has a professional private practice, or if the assets are high-value trust or stocks and investment accounts are involved in the distribution battle, a financial advisor will give a party individual to accurately report for and plan for the future of these assets, especially after divorce proceedings.

Make sure that you and your attorney thoroughly go through any and all assets, and it is not a bad idea to get an idea of the value of them as well. Of course, the best way to protect assets such as these would be before the marriage – in a rigorous and well written prenuptial agreement that will leave no doubt about what is yours, if and when it comes time to divorce, and the division of assets issue arises.