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. 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 litigants have agreed to give up their interest in one marital asset, like their interest in the marital residence in exchange for keeping their pension or not having to pay maintenance.