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What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in New York?


Divorce can be a challenging and emotionally charged process, and understanding your rights and entitlements is crucial. If you're a wife considering a divorce in New York, it's important to be aware of the specific rights and protections provided by the state's divorce laws.

As a highly skilled divorce attorney/mediator for more than 35 years, I have guided many wives on what they are entitled to in a divorce. Let me share some of this information with you:

Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

New York follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that marital property acquired during the marriage is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Marital property typically includes assets like the family home, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, retirement plans, and other property obtained during the marriage.

Marital Home

If the marital home was purchased during the marriage, the wife may be entitled to a fair share of its value. Factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial contributions, and custody arrangements can influence the division of the marital home.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

New York allows for spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, to be awarded to the dependent spouse based on various factors. These factors include the length of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, and their respective contributions to the marriage.

Child Custody and Visitation

In divorce cases involving children, New York courts prioritize the best interests of the child. The wife may be entitled to custody or joint custody of the children, depending on factors such as the children's preferences, the parents' ability to provide a stable environment, and any history of abuse or neglect.

Child Support

Both parents have a legal obligation to support their children financially. New York uses a formula to calculate child support based on each parent's income, the number of children, and other factors. The wife may be entitled to child support payments from the husband to ensure the children's well-being.

Healthcare and Insurance Coverage

During the divorce process, the wife may be entitled to continue healthcare coverage through her spouse's insurance plan. If not, the court may order the husband to provide healthcare coverage for the wife and children.

Professional Degree or Career Advancement

In some cases, a wife may be entitled to compensation or a share of the increased earning capacity if she supported her spouse's education or career advancement during the marriage. This is known as "enhanced earning capacity" and can be a factor in property division or spousal support calculations.

Legal Fees and Expenses

In certain situations, the court may order the husband to pay the wife's legal fees and expenses, particularly if there is a significant disparity in the spouses' financial resources.

Retirement Accounts and Pension Plans

Retirement accounts and pension plans accumulated during the marriage are considered marital property subject to equitable distribution. The wife may be entitled to a fair share of these assets, depending on the circumstances.

Inheritance and Gifts

Inherited assets and gifts received by one spouse are considered separate property and are not subject to division in a divorce. However, if these assets were commingled with marital property or used for the benefit of the marriage, they may be subject to equitable distribution.

With more than 35 years’ experience as a divorce attorney and mediator, I have helped many wives get what they are entitled to in a divorce. I can help you too.

Call me to learn more right now!

All our FREE 1-HOUR CONSULTATIONS areconveniently available virtually!

I look forward to speaking with you.

Warm regards,


Call New York Divorce Lawyer Lois Brenner right now if you are a wife and want to know what you are entitled to in a divorce.

Schedule your free consultation today! Call 212.734.1551