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The two parties in a divorce can decide between themselves how to divide assets in a divorce. Most divorces are settled in this way. If they cannot agree, then a judge will decide after a trial.
New York is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that a court must decide what is a fair division of the marital property. This is almost always 50/50. Certain property is not considered marital property, such as inheritances and property owned before the marriage. Other property, such as pensions, must be professionally valuated.