WRM Security Services Inc. recently worked with a client who has been going through a domestic situation that at this point seems to be leading to a legal separation and maybe down the line lead to divorce. As a former police officer who spent many years on patrol, I unfortunately handed many domestic situations. They can range from extreme domestic violence and abuse to simple jealous ranges. People get arrested and others are served with orders of protections. I have handled domestic cases at every stage and have successfully advised both husbands and wives on how to proceed in the most beneficial manner that protects them, their children and assets. It is an extremely stressful situation and can lead a person to act out in a manner that can be detrimental to him or her in the future.
Our client’s situation is not very uncommon. Most domestic situations have common threads. Without knowing all the issues confronting the couple’s marriage it is hard to understand why each partner is behaving and reacting a certain way. One thing I can tell you from experience is that many domestic cases end up with someone getting arrested and or orders of protections being served. I will briefly describe our client’s situation. My hope is that by sharing some of the facts of the situation I can help you understand how we can help you through these types’ stressful situations. The names, locations and detailed specifics of the case have been changed to protect their identities of the parties involved.
My client from Bethpage, Long Island, 11714, NY telephoned us after his martial situation had declined to the point of arrest. He was arrested after his wife mad a formal complaint of harassment to the Nassau County Police Department. His wife complained that he punched her in the chest during an argument. The Nassau County, Long Island, NY Police Department immediately responded to the home and arrested him and issued his wife an order of protection. He is now ordered on a temporary basis to stay away from the home and her until he is to appear in court. The court dates can be up to 30 days or more from the date of arrest.
His wife also left the home and returned to her parent’s house located in New Hyde Park, Long Island, NY 11040 with their child. He will now not see his child for several weeks and will not have access to his home until after the court date. A judge will review the case to determine if he is a threat to her safety. If he determines that he is the order will be extended if not it will be rescinded.
So why did the client call us for help? He called because he alleges that his wife has been removing martial property from the home and tampering with confidential business information that is stored in his home-based office. He requested that we provide property monitoring at his residence. What her motivation to do this is undetermined. It is also not confirmed that his allegation is true. Our job in this case was to conduct surveillance of the home and record and photograph any incidents at the residence to prove or disprove the allegation.
What is Marital Property? New York State is an equitable distribution state. This means that assets and debts (martial property) will be divided in an equitable fashion. This does not mean what one party feels it is equitable and it does not always mean everything is divided in half or equal shares. The court decides on what the equal division of property will be. The assets and debts will be divided in a manner that fairly represents the party’s contributions to the marriage. It can get complicated and sometimes take a lot of time to decide. For example, sometimes one party brings more assets into the marriage then the other. The judge will have to decide if the assets have appreciated. If they have appreciated during the marriage, then the appreciated value would be subject to equitable distribution in New York State.
There is no requirement by the court to determine that the distribution of marital assets will be a clean fifty-fifty division. Meaning, you and your wife get half. When one is married for twenty or more years the courts try to divide the property as equal as possible. Please note, that the court can deviate from the fifty- fifty basis when it is determined that there was some type of egregious misconduct perpetrated by one party. So, it is important to act in a cool manner. Cooler heads always prevail. Hiring a private investigator from WRM Security Services Inc. can help you provide the evidence you may need to produce in court. Allegations of misconduct run rampant during a divorce. Having proof to support your claims is always a good idea. We have saved many clients a lot of money disproving or proving allegations.
In cases involving shorter marriages ranging from a few months to a few years the courts try to determine where the parties were or close to where they were financially or close to the same position as they were in before the marriage. In the short marriages the court tries to adjust the marital assets in accordance with the relative earnings of the parties during the marriage.
Generally, the party that earned more will get more and subsequently the one who earned less, generally gets less.
In the middle length marriages, it falls in the middle and there are no firm rules. Children in a marriage always change things because the welfare of the children is paramount. So, when you have children your marriage will most likely be looked as a long marriage with equal division of martial assets. The courts will always consider what is best for the children.
Our case involves marital assets. If the wife of our subject had in fact, as alleged, been taking property out of the house without the husband’s knowledge she would be involved in the removing marital property without consent or knowledge. Now please understand, when one party moves out of the marital residence, they do need personal items and other things to set up a new residence. To be fair each party should be aware of what the other is doing so that if the separation leads to divorce the property can be accounted for. Many times, an injured party attempts to destroy or sell martial property. So, before you do something it is best to consult with an attorney or a private investigator.