New York uses Equitable Distribution to divide marital property between the married parties. Other states like New Jersey and California use a Community Property standard instead. This allows the court to award a larger amount of a certain asset that one party put more effort, money or time into acquiring said asset. The equitable distribution method also allows the court to consider which party contributed to the enhanced earning capacity of the parties to obtain a professional license so it can determine how the proceeds from that professional license should be divided unlike the Community Property Standard that considers all property acquired during the tenancy of the marriage, that isn’t exempt (personal injury awards, inheritance) to be owned 50% by the parties as well as the marital debts.
Pensions and deferred earnings are marital property in New York State. Financial disclosure is mandatory. This is an area which usually allows the parties to negotiate other terms. Many a party’s may give up their claim in a retirement instrument like a pension in exchange for the others interest in the marital residence or vice versa. Usually the fights over matrimonial property end once the matter is resolved. This doesn’t mean people don’t fight over matters like a spouse’s interest in a small business, only once the matter is resolved, it’s over. Usually it’s custody that people continue to fight over in acrimonious break ups.