When it comes to divorce, one of the important aspects is the division of property. There are two kinds of property distribution, but each state sets its own standards. New York is an equitable distribution state, which according to the Huffington Post is what most states in the country are. The other is a community property state, of which there is only nine in the country.

In a community property state, property division is kept simple. The court just divides all property evenly between you and your spouse. While this makes things really easy, it is often seen as unfair.

In an equitable distribution state, the judge considers your situation before dividing assets. Your property is divided fairly, which is not always equally. The court considers how long you’ve been married, financial contributions to the marriage, standard of living and other factors, such as who takes care of the children. In this situation, the judge has a lot of power to distribute the property as he or she sees fit and deems fair.

What this means to you is that your property will be divided in a way that the judge thinks reflects the marriage. For example, if your spouse was the only one who earned money but you stayed at home raising the children, the judge may give you more money so you can then use it to maintain your standard of living, continue caring for the children and rebuild your life after the divorce. This information is for education and is not legal advice.