Addressing Property Division Issues With Unbundled Legal Help

Divorce can be an emotionally and mentally draining process, even if it happens amicably. One of the biggest hurdles in any legal separation is equitable property division, which ensures that marital assets are split fairly according to the law.

Partnering with a property division lawyer is critical during this process. Many marriage lawyers offer unbundled legal help, which can be particularly helpful for handling miscellaneous legal documents during the property division process.

Unbundled legal help, also known as limited-scope representation, is a service in which a lawyer handles specific parts of your case, such as advising on or drafting documents for the division of assets. You will then manage the rest of the case independently, which can make legal services more affordable and accessible during your separation.

Are you separating from a spouse? Let’s dive deeper into the potential benefits of handling property division complications through professional unbundled legal help.

Understanding Property Division in Divorce

Property division is the process of re-distributing a couple’s shared marital property after divorce. This includes real estate, physical property, and financial assets such as cash, investments, and debt.

Property division laws vary from state to state. As a divorce lawyer in New York, we help clients navigate the state’s equitable distribution laws. Equitable distribution means that property is divided fairly according to the circumstances of each party, rather than dividing it into two equal halves.

This is in direct contrast to community property states, where property acquired during the marriage is typically split 50/50. However, it can also make things a little more complicated during your divorce proceedings.

The property division process also involves identifying what is part of the marital estate and what is separate property. Marital property will be subject to property division according to state law, while separate property is returned to the spouse who owns it.

For example, a jointly purchased home would be considered marital property, but a car bought prior to the marriage may be separate property under just one person.

What are Unbundled Legal Services?

As we briefly mentioned, unbundled legal help is a legal service model through which an attorney handles only specific aspects of a client’s case rather than providing comprehensive representation.

This can include supportive tasks such as:

  • Offering legal advice
  • Drafting documents
  • Reviewing agreements
  • Representing the client in court for specific hearings.

The client takes on the responsibility for other parts of the case, which can include gathering evidence, filing documents, and managing court appearances without the presence of a property division lawyer.

Why is this a popular legal service? In most cases, individuals select this approach because it makes legal services more affordable and accessible. In short, you’re only paying for what you need, rather than across-the-board representation.

Unbundled legal services can be particularly beneficial in family law cases, including divorces, where individuals might need professional help with complex issues like the division of assets but are comfortable handling simpler tasks themselves.

Common Property Division Issues

In some divorces, couples are able to handle asset division on their own without the need for legal assistance. However, there are often other instances where property division leads to disputes that need to be settled in court by a judge.

Some common property division challenges include:

  • Disagreement on what constitutes marital property: In some cases, it can be difficult to determine whether a property is marital property or separate property, especially for couples that have been married for a long time. In this case, a judge will assess the situation and determine what is considered marital property and what is shared.
  • Disputes over asset valuation: In equitable distribution states like New York, all marital assets are valued before the property division process starts. This helps the judge accurately re-distribute the property. If assets are valued inaccurately, it could lead to unfair property distribution.
  • Hidden assets: In some cases, one spouse will try to hide assets during a divorce to avoid sharing them. This could involve creating an offshore bank account or giving the assets to friends and family temporarily.
  • Debt division: If you and your former spouse acquired debt while you were married, that debt must be divided fairly in a divorce. In many cases, both parties take equal responsibility for the marital debts. However, if one party has a much higher income than the other, the judge may not split the debt evenly.

The Benefits of Unbundled Legal Help for Property Division

When navigating property division in divorce, having an experienced lawyer is often the key to ensuring your property is treated and divided fairly.

However, you may not want to pay for full representation from a lawyer – just the services you need to get through the property division part of the process.

If you need a divorce lawyer in New York, The Law Offices of Diron Rutty LLC offers unbundled legal services on an a la carte basis. You only pay for the services you use, which helps keep costs manageable. Unbundled legal services are also very flexible, which means you can add or scale back your services as needed, depending on the circumstances of your case.

In other words, we’re here when you need us – whether that’s throughout the entire divorce process or just certain parts of the ordeal.

Steps for Fair Property Distribution

A property division lawyer will help you and your former spouse reach an agreement for fair property distribution. However, it’s not always a simple path, and you will likely need to work closely with your attorney to ensure all of your complications are handled.

In our many years of experience, we’ve found that the following steps can help make property division in divorce a little easier and more equitable.

  • Keep detailed records: Both parties should keep detailed records of important transactions and save documents related to their property. This will make it easier to conduct a full inventory of your assets during the property division process.
  • Obtain professional valuations: In an equitable distribution state like New York, you’ll need to know how much your assets are worth before the property division starts. Have your property evaluated by a professional to avoid any unnecessary inaccuracies.
  • Consider tax implications: Consider how splitting your property will affect taxes for both parties. You may want to work with a tax professional to learn more and plan accordingly.
  • Don’t hide assets: If you try to hide your assets now, it could cause problems later in the property division process. Be transparent and work toward a fair outcome, even if the divorce is messy.

Get Unbundled Legal Support for Property Division in Divorce

Property division can be a stressful process, but unbundled services from an experienced, competent divorce lawyer in New York can make it easier (and less expensive).

Since 1995, The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC has been providing folks in New York City, the Bronx, White Plains, and Poughkeepsie, NY, with high-quality representation. With our unbundled legal services, you can work with an experienced property division lawyer online – without the costly fees and fewer potential setbacks.

Get in touch today to learn more or schedule a consultation. Our divorce lawyers in New York will help you identify which services are right for your situation.

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